6.26.15 - Economy Continues to Teeter as Americans Worry
Gold last traded at $1,173 an ounce. Silver at $15.76 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded mixed on Friday amid worry over Greece's debt/default deadline next Tuesday. Precious metal prices rose on rising economic uncertainty, despite a firmer U.S. dollar.
French taxi drivers smash cars, protest Uber, reports Fox News.
Thursday French protests by taxi drivers against free market competition from Uber was in the news headlines. We also see Greeks protesting the proposed debt deal, which citizens fear will take away government handouts. Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked Swiss America Chairman Craig R. Smith what he makes of it. According to Mr. Smith, "What's going on in Europe is very predicable because the population has been raised on BIG government handouts and socialism. What we are seeing in France and Greece is coming to America!" Regarding the Supreme Court decision in favor of Obamacare, Smith sees this as 'crony capitalism' payoffs to big health insurers and warns the impact upon free market enterprise will be great. "I hope America does not go the way of socialism. As Frederic Bastiat said, 'Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. We forget that government lives at the expense of all of us'."
Recession time bomb ticking faster, louder, reports Marketwatch.
"Yes, the clock’s ticking louder, louder, warns the Economist, 'only a matter of time before the next recession strikes.' Unfortunately, the 'rich world is not ready.' America’s not prepared. You are not ready. Get it? America’s 95 million investors are at huge risk. Remember the $10 trillion losses in the crash and recession of 2007-2009? The $8 trillion lost after the dot-com technology crash and recession of 2000-2003? This is the third big recession of the century. Yes, America will lose trillions again. Why is America so vulnerable when the next recession hits? Simple: The Fed’s cheap-money giveaway is killing America." We agree, the Fed has done incredible damage to the free market and the U.S. economic recovery with artificially low interest rates, as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in The Biggest Bank Heist in History.
Poll: 72% fear economic crash, concern 'highest ever', reports Washington Examiner.
"Concern over the economy is the highest I've ever seen," top GOP pollster Ed Goeas told the moderate Republican Ripon Society. He said 72 percent are worried about an economic downturn. "Republicans need to get into the game on better turf and that means talking in specifics about how we will bring the economy back and help create the jobs that go with real recovery," added pollster David Winston. Meanwhile, NY Times reports a "survey, conducted for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, found that the proportion of people delaying big decisions like buying a home or getting married had risen to 51 percent, from 31 percent in a similar survey in 2007, before the start of the financial downturn."
Chinese Gold Standard Could Create 'Fireworks', reports TheStreet.
"Could gold, the world's longest running currency be used to create a new order in global currencies? The Chinese central bank is said to be considering backing its yuan with the yellow metal. This move, says Ken Hoffman, global head of metals and mining research for Bloomberg Intelligence, would be a 'game changer.' Why would China consider such a move? Hoffman explains that Chinese policy makers are already trying to establish the yuan as a reserve currency, and backing it with gold would help attract foreign capital." In The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver we explain why the best strategy for individuals to protect wealth is to put themselves on a personal gold standard now - before the 'fireworks' begin and prices rise.
6.25.15 - Americans Divided on Socialism
Gold last traded at $1,171 an ounce. Silver at $15.84 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell again Thursday, despite better-than-expected economic reports amid ongoing Greece debt negotiations. Meanwhile, a weaker U.S. dollar held commodity and precious metal prices steady.
Greece: Planning The Bank Holiday, reports Forbes.
"A bank becomes 'insolvent' when the value of its assets is less than its total liabilities. In time, the bank also becomes 'illiquid' - unable to borrow money, and thus make payments - because people don't like to lend to insolvent entities. Greek banks have been getting by because they have been able to borrow from the European Central Bank, but this may come to an end soon, perhaps in a matter of days. Bank insolvency and reorganization - a subset of bankruptcy - is one of those things, like sovereign default itself, which is treated as something conceivable, like a catastrophic earthquake in Los Angeles, but which never actually happens. This is wholly incorrect. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which oversees this process in the U.S., lists 513 failed banks since the start of 2008. Greek banks need to go through their restructuring process." Speaking of bank failures and holidays; get the complete, shocking truth about the state of the world banking system by reading DON'T BANK ON IT!.
"Madame Frexit" Says France Is Next, reports ZeroHedge.
"There has been some confusion why Germany and the Eurozone are so strict in negotiating with France and unwilling to concede even to the smallest of what they deem as outlandish Greek demands. The reason is not so much whether Spain or even Italy, both countries with soaring unemployment, a lost generation and a sweeping movement against 'austerity', follow with comparable demands should Europe concede to Tsipras, but France, where the frontrunner for the next president, the National Front's Marine Le Pen, has just warned that not only is a Grexit inevitable, but that France would follow shortly. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed concern about the level of support Le Pen will receive in 2017 and how that power might weigh on French economic policy. 'She knows perfectly well that if France leaves, there’s no more euro,' Le Pen said." Get the full story about the fallout from the Greek debt crisis our latest White Paper The Greek Showdown.
Socialist Presidential Candidates Least Appealing, reports Gallup.
"As the 2016 presidential election field takes shape, more than nine in 10 Americans say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish. Less than half of Americans would vote for a candidate who is a socialist. Among religious identities, while the large majority of Americans would vote for a Catholic or Jewish presidential candidate, smaller majorities say they would vote for a candidate who is Mormon (81%), an evangelical Christian (73%), Muslim (60%) or an atheist (58%)." Should we be amazed 47% of Americans said they would vote for a socialist presidential candidate? Not really, given the fact that 49% of Americans are currently receiving some form of government assistance every month.
Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, Scalia dissents, reports CBS.
"The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent. 'The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says ‘Exchange established by the State’ it means ‘Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.’ That is of course quite absurd, and the Court's 21 pages of explanation make it no less so,' Scalia wrote, who was also joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in the dissent. Scalia added, 'Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State.’ And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words ‘by the State’ other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.”
Trump understands jobs/economy #1 priority, other candidates don't, reports NY Post.
"I think Donald Trump - if he can stop himself from saying crazy things about his wealth, immigration and such - will be a very important factor in the 2016 election. Why? Because he understands that the main concern in this country today is the economy - which is another way of saying 'jobs.' That was the chief thing on people’s minds in 2012 and during the last congressional election in 2014. It still is today and will be throughout the primaries and right up to the 2016 election....If Trump is smart, he'll keep repeating that message. And if he starts showing any strength in the polls, which I think he will, the army of other candidates will start parroting his message. Jobs, jobs, jobs!"
6.24.15 - Big Money Exiting U.S. Stocks
Gold last traded at $1,172 an ounce. Silver at $15.85 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell sharply Wednesday as creditors rejected Greek debt proposals. A government report showing U.S. Gross domestic product fell at a 0.2% annualized rate - revised from a previously reported 0.7% drop - did nothing to cheer up investors. Meanwhile, a flat U.S. dollar helped precious metal prices to stabilize.
Big investors are dumping stocks, reports YahooFinance.
"In a note Tuesday, Jill Carey Hall at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote that the clients' net sales of US stocks amounted to $4.1 billion last week, the largest total since January 2008. Most of the selling is being led by institutional investors....The strategists wrote that investors pulled the most money out of healthcare and financial stocks. Last week, outflows from healthcare were the largest on record, they said."
Greece: Deal in doubt, deadline looms, reports CNBC.
"International creditors on Wednesday rejected the Greek government's plan to end its financial crisis, but they have submitted counterproposals. News of the rejection dashed hopes of an imminent deal between the embattled Mediterranean country and its creditors. European officials set a Thursday deadline so Greece's parliament has time to pass any required reforms before the repayment is due."
Hack of U.S. Data May Have Hit 18 Million, reports WSJ.
"Obama administration officials avoided immediately disclosing the severity of the government employee data hack by defining it as two distinct breaches, according to people familiar with the matter, in an incident that underscores the tensions within the government over what officials have described as one of the worst breaches of U.S. data....OPM Director Katherine Archuleta on Wednesday said her agency is investigating whether up to 18 million unique Social Security numbers were stolen as part of the cyberattack..." To better understand the growing threat to your money from international cyber-attacks, read DON'T BANK ON IT!.
Islamic State mints its own 'Islamic Dinar' coins, reports Telegraph.
"Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) has begun minting its own 'Islamic dinar' coins, Syrian activists claimed on Tuesday night. Pictures posted on social media showed a series of gold sovereigns bearing Isil inscriptions, and with a reported value of one gold dinar being with $139. Isil announced last November that it would start producing their own currency in areas under its control, in an effort to 'emancipate itself from the satanic global economic system'."
China likely to get central bank nod for yuan gold fix, reports Reuters.
"China is expected to receive approval from its central bank for a yuan-denominated gold fix 'anytime now', with more details about the scheme potentially set to emerge at a major industry conference this week, sources told Reuters. The world's top gold producer and one of the biggest consumers wants to be a price-setter for bullion and is asserting itself at a time when the global dollar-denominated benchmark, the century-old London fix, is under scrutiny for alleged price-manipulation."
6.23.15 - Bank Consumer Trust Is Eroding Fast
Gold last traded at $1,176 an ounce. Silver at $15.73 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded choppy Tuesday amid Greek debt optimism and mixed economic data showing new home sales rose while durable good orders fell. The U.S. dollar index rose sharply based on recent Fed interest rate hike promises sending precious metal prices lower.
Greece's new rescue plan is deeply flawed, reports CNN.
"Europe is hatching an agreement to release 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) in bailout loans to Greece, without which the country will default to the International Monetary Fund next week, and possibly tumble out of the eurozone. Markets like the latest Greek proposal because it would deal with the immediate crisis, but it could store up trouble for the future. The reality of an accelerating bank run, and the prospect of a chaotic exit from the euro, have forced Tsipras to backpedal, but the budget savings he is now proposing risk prolonging the recession that Greece has sunk back into this year. 'If this week concludes with agreement between Greece and its creditors, it won't be long before the next chapter in this drama,' said Angus Campbell, senior analyst at FxPro. UBS estimates Greece may need additional funds of nearly 14 billion euros to carry it through to the end of 2015."
Banking Scandals: Can You Really Trust Your Bank? asks ValueWalk.
"In the past, people trusted banks implicitly and banks were perceived as a place where your savings were completely safe. This notion has long since expired and in 2015 consumer trust in banks is at an all time low. There were of course banking scandals before the economic recession, but the avalanche of scandals reported since the recession have put pay to the trust consumers once had in the banking system. So severe is the decline in consumer trust, that 63% of people now only trust themselves with their retirement savings....57% of consumers say they'll keep their savings at a local bank, meaning 43% of citizens who are saving some money do not plan to do so in a bank account."
Do you still believe the old-fashioned notion that you are free to withdraw your cash from your bank as you wish? "You are a casualty of the 'war against cash' if you have a bank account – and probably do not even know it," explains THE SECRET WAR: What the “War on Cash” Is Doing To Your Income, Savings, Life and Liberty, And How To Survive It, a new White Paper by Craig R. Smith & Lowell Ponte, authors of DON'T BANK ON IT!
Durable Goods; Biggest Drop Since 2009, reports ZeroHedge.
"March's exulted bounce in Durable Goods faded rapidly into April's disappointing drop and today we see May disappoint further with a 1.8% drop (against expectations of a 0.1% drop) having missed 5 of the last 7 months. Revisions are big and negative... so that's not helping and has pushed Durable Goods Orders NSA down 5.0% YoY - the largest 10-month slump since Dec09... the last time we dropped this much, The Fed unleashed QE3. Durable Goods Ex Transports and Core Capex are also both down YoY for 4 months in a row, flashing recessionary red."
Senate advances fast-track trade bill for Obama, reports TheHill.
"The Senate on Tuesday voted to advance President Obama’s trade agenda, approving a measure to end debate on fast-track authority. Fast-track authority would allow Obama to send trade deals to Congress for up-or-down votes. The White House wants the authority to conclude negotiations on a sweeping trans-Pacific trade deal....[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell’s margin for error shrank further when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is running for president, announced he would vote to block the bill, declaring in a Breitbart.com op-ed that it had 'become enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom dealmaking.' Other Republican White House hopefuls, including Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee oppose fast-track."
Where Next for Gold? asks Barrons.
"Playwright George Bernard Shaw once quipped that 'you have a natural choice between the stability of gold and the honesty and intelligence of the members of government.' While Shaw was clearly being ironic it appears global markets have chosen the latter by dumping gold in the belief the 'troika' are close to striking a deal - again - to avert a Greek default and its exit from the European Union. So while gold is forecast to oscillate around $1,200 an ounce during 2015, it could break out to the upside farther down the road. Besides supply potentially slowing, a cooling down of stock markets around the world are among other reasons that could help gold to regain votes from investors..." If you do not own gold, buy it at any price. If you do own gold, buy more at summer bargain prices!
6.22.15 - Greek Tragedy's Next Act
Gold last traded at $1,192 an ounce. Silver at $16.12 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Stock markets globally cheered on Monday as Greece made a last-ditch offer to its creditors to avoid defaulting on its debt. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was lifted by upbeat housing data which pressured commodity and precious metal prices.
US existing home sales jump to 5-1/2-year high, reports CNBC.
"The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales increased 5.1% to an annual rate of 5.35 million units, the highest level since November 2009. First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of transactions." The National Association of Realtor's chief economist proclaimed this as sustainable (despite stagnant incomes and home prices about to take out the previous peak) but with 67% of investors paying cash for homes in May, the demand is clearly foreign as Chinese buyers surpass Canadian snowbirds. Meanwhile, Investors.com reports "Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies not only finds more middle-class families renting, but many also struggling to make rent, as homeownership rates plunge lower than ever."
Gold in the Age of Soaring Debt, reports Frank Holmes at USFunds.
"Ever wonder how much gold has ever been exhumed in the history of the world? The GFMS Gold Survey estimates that the total amount is approximately 183,600 tons, or 5.9 billion ounces. If we take that figure and multiply it by the closing price on June 16, $1,181 per ounce, we find that the value of all gold comes within a nugget’s throw of $7 trillion....According to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the world now sits beneath a mountain of debt worth an astonishing $200 trillion....More surprising is that if gold backed total global debt 100 percent, it would be valued at $33,900 per ounce. The U.S. currently holds 'only' 8,133.5 tons of gold in its reserves, a significant decline from the all-time high of over 20,000 tons in the 1950s. This amount calculates to about $340 billion—nothing to sneeze at, but a far cry from the current U.S. debt level. A new report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows that since 2001, bullion has reached a bottom between mid-June and mid-July and rebounded thereafter. In all but two of the last 27 years, or 93 percent of the time, gold and gold equities enjoyed a late summer rally..." This confirms why Swiss America believes summertime is the very best season of the year to add to your precious metal holdings. Call your representative at 800-289-2646 to discuss the best values available in the marketplace today and request a copy of our FREE report and DVD The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver.
Washington fears losing Greece to Moscow, reports Financial Times.
"Throughout the prolonged showdown between Greece and its creditors, the Obama administration has largely sat on the sidelines, issuing the occasional warning about the potential economic impact of a default. But with Greece now on the verge of bankruptcy, the US is also beginning to worry about the political fallout from a deeper crisis and the potential for Russia to gain increased influence over a Nato member."
A Greek Default Is Precisely What The ECB Wants, reports ZeroHedge.
"Goldman [Sachs] essentially says that it is in the ECB's, and Europe's, best interest to have a Greek default....In short, we see mounting tensions over Greece as a catalyst for EUR/$ to move near parity in fairly short order." Greek banks have already imposed an unofficial ceiling of 3,000 euro on walk-in withdrawals. Swiss America is about to release a new 20-page White Paper on THE GREEK SHOWDOWN. Call your representative to receive a FREE COPY today!
6.19.15 - World Economy Faces a Tipping Point
Gold last traded at $1,201 an ounce. Silver at $16.10 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell on Friday amid Greek default worries and a Chinese stock sell-off. Euro worries lifted the dollar, yet precious metal prices ended the week 1.8% higher, the biggest increase in over a month.
China stocks plunge as bubble fears grow, reports CNN. "Shanghai Composite index is now in correction territory after falling 13% over the past five trading sessions, as investors grow increasingly wary of what many analysts describe as a bubble. The pain was most acute on Friday, when the Shanghai Composite shed more than 6%, with losses accelerating in afternoon trading." Could this mark the beginning of the long overdue U.S. stock market correction?
Greece gets temporary lifeline to prop up banks, reports Associated Press.
"Money is going out of the Greek banks faster than at any time before," said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation. As a result, the European Central Bank's governing council decided to provide more emergency credit for Greece's banks to help them cope with the situation." If Greece defaults, the European Central Bank could cut off its support to the Greek financial system, forcing Athens to impose capital controls. Will Greek banks be forced to close their doors on depositors next Monday?
"Can I see your permit for that lemonade stand, young man/lady?"
No joke. CNBC reports, "Children strapped for cash hang up paper signs and pass out plastic cups to neighbors in hopes of making a little cash. It's a tradition that's spanned generations...More and more in the last decade police and local code enforcement officials have closed lemonade stands when kids and parents were unable to produce proper permits and health department licenses....A 7 year old in Oregon folded her stand in 2010 because of concerns from a county health official about public safety and sanitation. In order to comply with the local health codes she would have had to purchase a $120 temporary restaurant license." Some states now require up to $500 in fees for licenses and paperwork filing. What's next- a license to mow the lawn, walk neighborhood dogs or babysit? This is the world of tomorrow - A world in which public "safety" is ruled by cradle-to-grave government bureaucrats who impose taxes on even the smallest of entrepreneurs.
Read Swiss America's newest White Paper, THE SECRET WAR, to discover why...
* Under threat of regulatory punishment, banks must now spy on you for the government.
* Our government has made it risky to carry cash due to tougher asset forfeiture laws.
* “Operation Choke Point” targets 30 types of businesses labeled as “high-risk”.
* In a cashless future it will become much easier for the government to rob you.
The Swiss America family wishes all of the dads out there a wonderful Father's Day!
6.18.15 - Assets Worthy of Public Confidence
Gold last traded at $1,202 an ounce. Silver at $16.15 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rallied 1% higher on Thursday as Wednesday's Fed statement boosted investor sentiment while sending the U.S. dollar to a one month low. Meanwhile consumer inflation shot up in May, pushing commodity and precious metal prices sharply higher.
Greece could be forced to lock down savers’ cash, reports Independent.
"Greece's central bank has issued the clearest warning yet that the country is on course to default on its sovereign debt at the end of the month and crash out of the single currency, while finance ministers across Europe also confirmed they are making contingency plans for a messy ending to the crisis. If Greece defaults, the European Central Bank could cut off its support to the Greek financial system, forcing Athens to impose capital controls, limiting the amount that savers can withdraw from their accounts and curbing transfers of money overseas." As covered in DON'T BANK ON IT! , do not be surprised when capital controls limiting cash withdrawals soon arrive to a bank near you. Prepare now!
Pat Boone honored by Heritage Foundation for amazing 60-year career, reports FoxNews.
Legendary singer Pat Boone was honored by The Heritage Foundation this week for his legendary 60-year career in entertainment. People agree and disagree with him - about rock 'n roll, politics, religion, the usual stuff - but Pat Boone has lived a truly American story and an iconic one at that. Pat tells Fox News he's a blessed man who has often been persecuted over the years for his clean lifestyle and outspoken views on family, faith and freedom; but through it all he has stood firm and learned it is important to be able to laugh at yourself. Watch Pat Boone this Sunday, June 21st (Father's Day) on CBS SUNDAY MORNING with Charles Osgood.
Swiss America is proud of Pat's many accomplishments and to have him as their national spokesperson for nearly two decades. Listen to Pat interview Don't Bank On It! author Craig Smith on this free CD The Future of Money & Banking.
Americans Have Lost Confidence ... in Everything, reports U.S.News.
"Americans have little confidence in most of their major institutions including Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, banks and organized religion, according to the latest Gallup poll. Twenty-eight percent have confidence in banks, down from 40 percent. Forty-two percent express confidence in organized religion, down from 55. All in all, it's a picture of a nation discouraged about its present and worried about its future, and highly doubtful that its institutions can pull America out of its trough."
Gold leads gains as Fed stays cautious, reports Reuters.
"Gold rose back above $1,200 an ounce on Thursday, leading a rally across most precious metals after the Federal Reserve indicated after a policy meeting that U.S. interest rates may rise more slowly than expected. Silver hit its highest in two weeks and platinum was on track for its biggest one-day rise in a month as the comments knocked the dollar to a one-month low against a currency basket."
Precious metals have proven to be assets worthy of public confidence because they maintain a dependable store of value over the long-term and preserve wealth faithfully. June and July are usually the best months of the year to buy precious metals at the lowest prices of the year. With inflation also heating up, the fundamentals for owning gold are very solid. Call you Swiss America representative at 800-289-2646 to discuss sizzling deals available right now.
6.17.15 - Fed Sees Recovery, Greek Capital Controls Ahead
Gold last traded at $1,176 an ounce. Silver at $15.94 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks cheered up Wednesday after the Fed's upbeat statement promised two interest rate hikes this year - with no mention of when they will begin. Meanwhile, commodities and precious metal prices were lifted by a weaker U.S. Dollar.
Bank of Greece warning rattles the eurozone, reports The Guardian.
"The Greek central bank has raised the stakes in the battle with its lenders, warning that the country could be plunged into an unprecedented slump unless a deal is agreed upon soon. In a new report, the Bank of Greece warned that the country’s membership of the European Union, as well as the eurozone currency bloc, is now at stake. It said:
"Failure to reach an agreement would....mark the beginning of a painful course that would lead initially to a Greek default and ultimately to the country’s exit from the euro area and – most likely – from the European Union. A manageable debt crisis, as the one that we are currently addressing with the help of our partners, would snowball into an uncontrollable crisis, with great risks for the banking system and financial stability."
Capital controls may soon be imposed on Greece and could limit cash withdrawals. "If they fail to reach a deal, there'll be a lot of panic," says one Athens resident to The Guardian.
Governments use capital controls to stop banks from hemorrhaging due to deposits and to avert insolvency. They can involve setting ceilings on foreign transfers, taxing particular kinds of withdrawal, performing physical checks at borders – but also limiting cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs.
In Cyprus that limit was set at 300 euro a day, but many observers believe Greece might well need to set a considerably lower daily limit.
In their 2013 White Paper, WHY CYPRUS MATTERS Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte warned of spreading capital controls ...
On March 15, 2013, the citizens of Cyprus lost trust in their banks.
Bank of Cyprus depositors with more than 100,000 euros may now lose 60% of their savings as part of the bailout, Cyprus officials say.
Cyprus matters The centrality of property rights is the real reason why the "Cyprus Crisis" now threatens to go viral worldwide.
If the Eurozone falls, it could easily drag the rest of the world down with it, because the EU accounts for 25% of the world's economy and 10% of U.S exports.
Americans who act wisely today can secure their life savings against what happened to the money and private bank accounts of Cyprus.
In 2012, Craig Smith wrote in A Modern Greek Tragedy: Has America also passed the point of no return? ...
Greece should be a warning signal to U.S. leaders that they must start telling the truth: We cannot pay for all the promises made; painful cuts will be needed to balance the books. One can defy gravity temporarily by getting into an airplane but if the plane runs out of fuel, gravity wins and the plane crashes.
We are racing toward a pubic majority who believe they are entitled to cradle-to-grave government support, much like modern Greeks do. With only half the population paying the bills, we will soon find ourselves center stage in the same modern Greek tragedy.
In Greek Crisis Illustrates Value of A Personal Gold Standard Craig R. Smith also said in February 2012...
The average Grecian citizen with a portion of his/her money in physical gold find themselves with very little or no disruption in their every day life, short of their favorite local market perhaps going up in flames amid rioting. The stores that are still open prefer gold coins and U.S. dollars over any other form of payment because they know they will be accepted worldwide.
Holders of gold are discovering their buying power has actually strengthened in a crisis. Gold owners are actually able to buy more goods and services with their ounce of gold than they could buy just six months ago - even if the price of gold was unchanged!
Greece is a excellent illustration of why a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 25% of your assets should always be held in physical gold for emergencies. Not for the potential return on investment. Not just to make money. But simply to assure that no matter what happens, your lifestyle will not be drastically altered. Having a valuable commodity, such as gold, in a crisis to exchange for your everyday needs is critical.
Texas is creating a gold depository to rival Fort Knox, reports BusinessInsider.
"Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation that will create a state-run gold depository in the Lone Star State - one that will attempt to rival those operated by the U.S. government inside Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s vault in lower Manhattan. 'The Texas Bullion Depository,' Abbott said in a statement,'will become the first state-level facility of its kind in the nation'.... Soon, the state 'will repatriate $1 billion of gold bullion from the Federal Reserve in New York to Texas.' In other words, when it comes preparing for the currency collapse and financial Armeggedon, Abbott's office really seems to think Texas is a whole 'nother country."
6.16.15 - "Secret War" Against Cash Exposed
Gold last traded at $1,180 an ounce. Silver at $15.95 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rebounded Tuesday on upbeat housing data as the Fed meets to discuss when and if they will begin raising interest rates. Precious metal prices dipped slightly on a firmer U.S. dollar.
The "Secret War" Against Cash Exposed, according a new White Paper. American life, liberty and wealth are at risk today as never before according to THE SECRET WAR: What the 'War on Cash' Is Doing To Your Income, Savings, Life and Liberty, And How To Survive It, a new White Paper by Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte.
Citizens are being pushed by Big government and Big banks to voluntarily abandon cash for the greater "convenience" of a cashless future.
Smith and Ponte predict, "Cash will eventually be outlawed or restricted, with capital controls already coming down hard in Sweden, Denmark, France, Greece, and many other places."
America's central bank, The Federal Reserve, now finds itself painted into a corner, having used up its bag of monetary tricks.
"Like an addictive drug, its fixes of money no longer stimulate. Its debt manipulations such as Quantitative Easing no longer work," write Smith and Ponte, authors of DON'T BANK ON IT!
In THE SECRET WAR Smith and Ponte reveal, "Our government has also made it more risky to carry cash because of their growing use of asset forfeiture laws.”
Apple Pay comes to more US banks and credit unions ahead of UK expansion, reports 9to5mac.com. Apple Pay is going international for the first time next month with its expansion into the UK, but for now Apple is steadily turning on support through more partnered banks and credit unions across the United States. The latest addition includes more than two dozen institutions now supporting Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch-based mobile payment service.
IMF Mulls Chinese Yuan Reserve-Currency Inclusion, reports the Wall Street Journal. China’s central bank is preparing to take new steps to lift the global profile of the yuan as the International Monetary Fund reviews whether to grant it elite status as a reserve currency. In a report issued late last week, the People’s Bank of China detailed moves it will take to encourage the IMF to take that step, putting the currency on a par with the dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling. Reserve status could potentially encourage other central banks to increase their holdings of the currency.
Donald Trump announces he is running for President, reports DailyMail. "The American dream is dead, but I will bring it back," announced Donald Trump today. Brimming over with self confidence, surrounded by mirrors, polished stone and gold in the midtown Manhattan tower bearing his name, Trump promised to create millions of jobs, make America rich again, stop immigration with a giant wall and defeat its enemies overseas. In his remarks he attacked the Obama administration on everything from immigration and terrorism to Obamacare and the job market as he promised to bring back the American dream.
"I'd love to see a businessman who understands leadership take the helm of this nation," said author and Swiss America Chairman today on Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto. Mr. Trump announced "the American dream is dead," but Mr. Smith thinks the dream is still alive - if we make big changes in the nation. "If Mr. Trump realizes that great leadership is taking 435 members of Congress to work with him, then I think he would make a great president," said Smith, "but he can't just wave a magic wand and make all of his ambitious changes come about all alone."
6.15.15 - U.S. Economic Freedom in Decline
Gold last traded at $1,185 an ounce. Silver at $16.08 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell sharply Monday following the collapse of weekend talks between Greece and its creditors. Meanwhile, the U.S. manufacturing sector is said to be in a 'technical recession' as industrial output sank 0.2% in May. Precious metal prices rose amid safe haven buying, summer bargain hunting and a weaker U.S. dollar.
GREECE: Another $449 million in Greek bank deposits exited on Monday, reports Reuters.. "The pace of withdrawals picked up from last week after talks with the country's creditors over an aid-for reforms deal broke down on Sunday, bankers said....Deposits have been dropping steadily since October, with the liquidity squeeze making Greek banks dependent on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the domestic central bank." We expect the 'great withdrawal' from banks in Greece and worldwide to continue accelerating.
ECONOMIC FREEDOM: Economic freedom in America has been in decline since 2000, reports Investors.com. "The country has strayed from the economic model that created a consumer cornucopia. We're living above our means, one of a mere handful of countries with diminishing prospects for living standards....Since 2000, U.S. economic freedom has been faltering, declining to 7.74 in 2011 and dropping the United States out of the Top 15 in the worldwide rankings....Economic freedom impacts living standards in two fundamental ways. First, a legacy of economic freedom forges long-term incentives to build physical capital in the first place. Second, today's economic freedom directly shapes the incentives that push countries to use existing capital effectively and productively."
DEBT: The U.S. Treasury says U.S. debt has been mysteriously frozen at $18,112,975,000,000 for 90 days, reports CNS. "'Because Congress has not yet acted to raise the debt limit,' Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in his March 13 letter, 'the Treasury Department will have to employ further extraordinary measures to continue to finance the government on a temporary basis. Therefore, beginning on March 16, I plan to declare a ‘debt issuance suspension period’ with respect to investment of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and also suspend the daily reinvestment of Treasury securities held by the Government Securities Investment Fund and the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan. According to the Congressional Research Service, 'this gives Treasury the authority to prematurely redeem securities held by the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Trust Fund and Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund.'" Rising U.S. debt is now being masked by dipping into retirement funds, similar to the government's robbing of the Social Security "lock box". As Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte have warned in The Biggest Bank Heist in History...
Worldwide debt has risen since 2007 by $57 Trillion and now stands at almost $200 Trillion. The Fed raising the interest rate on borrowing U.S. dollars, the world reserve currency in perhaps 80 percent of all major trading, could bury many countries beneath mountains of hard-to-pay debt. This could make both economic and political earthquakes around the world more likely.
“Overall debt relative to gross domestic product is now higher in most nations than it was before the [2008-2009] crisis,” warned consultants McKinsey & Co. in a February 2015 report. “Higher levels of debt post questions about financial stability.” 
Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) helped create this over-leveraged situation, and in the winds that will soon blow as rates rise, our own economy built of overvalued paper stocks and easy paper money could be severely damaged.
GOLD: Nearly 50 years ago Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned "Gold and economic freedom are inseparable." In his famous 1966 White Paper & Speech Greenspan warned, "In the absence of the gold standard,there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold.Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process." With economic freedom being attacked internally by Progressive politicians and externally by international threats, now is the time to advance your personal economic freedom by owning physical gold - thus putting your family on a personal gold standard. Be prepared: In the days ahead we expect the value of virtually every paper asset class will fall in relation to gold and silver prices.
6.12.15 - America's 'Hackable, Trackable and Taxable' Future
Gold last traded at $1,179 an ounce. Silver at $15.82 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded sharply lower Friday, as concerns over Greece's debt-default drama intensified. Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported producer prices leaped up 0.5% last month - gasoline prices surged 17%, the most in five years. Precious metal prices steadied, ending the week with a 1% gain.
CYBER-WAR: SECRETS HACKED MIGHT MAKE SECURITY CLEARANCE GOVT EMPLOYEES TARGETS FOR CHINESE BLACKMAIL: Experts Who Warned of "Sleeper" Hacking See Danger to Your Bank Account, Offer Ways You Can Safeguard Your Money, says DON'T BANK ON IT! authors Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte.
A massive hacking of government records, presumably by the People's Republic of China, went undetected for more than a year, reports ABC News in mid-June 2015.
At first it appeared that 4 million confidential employee records were stolen, but computer security expert David Kennedy, the 'White Hat Hacker', told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that because the hacking bug likely spread for more than a year, it might have collected bio secrets of ALL government employees.
"Hackers stole personnel data and Social Security numbers for every federal employee, a government worker union said Thursday, charging that the cyberattack on U.S. employee data is far worse than the Obama administration has acknowledged," reports NY Times.
Security clearance employees give personal, secret and potentially embarrassing information about themselves to the government, so this hacking might make those who know America's highest secrets into easy targets for Chinese blackmail.
In their chilling must-read book DON'T BANK ON IT! The Unsafe World of 21st Banking, Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte document examples of the threat of such hidden bugs in America's power grid, businesses, military and other government computers, computerized home appliances (the emerging “Internet of Things”), and banks.
“We know that during the Cold War era of spies and counter-spies, it was common for one side to plant 'mole' agents in the other's agencies. These agents could remain dormant for years, even decades, doing nothing until an order activated them. Government agencies, corporations and banks could already have dormant 'mole' programs undetected in their computer networks,” they write. 
“Hackers and foreign agents can activate such moles from far away at an opportune, coordinated moment to bring down entire major banks or our banking system.”
"Banks (as we know them) and the U.S. Dollar are dying as we are pulled into the rising 'cashless society' where everything, from your digital 'money' to your household appliances, will be Internet-controllable and hackable, as well as trackable and taxable by bloated governments desperate for ever-more revenue."
TTP/TiSA: "President Obama went to Capitol Hill Friday morning to make a final plea to congressional Democrats for his trade agenda, ahead of a showdown vote in the House," reports FoxNews. In a surprise move Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today announced she wants to "slow down the TTP fast-track." According to Ellen Brown, banking reform advocate at GlobalResearch, "Fast-Tracking TiSA is a Stealth Block to Monetary Reform....The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which was slipped into the 'fast track' legislation now before Congress will effect of the bail-in policies currently being railroaded into law in the Eurozone, and of the suspicious 'war on cash' seen globally....The disturbing revelations concerning TiSA are yet another reason to try to block these secretive trade agreements." What is TTP (aka ObamaTrade? - 2-min. video.
GREECE: "EU Prepares for Worst," reports Bloomberg. "European officials are preparing for the worst as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s brinkmanship pushes Greece’s finances to the limit. Bank stocks plunged as Greece ruled out pension cuts and demanded a debt restructuring. Greece was given less than 24 hours to come up with firm proposals to end the impasse....In a survey of 1,230 voters conducted this week for broadcaster ZDF, 70 percent of respondents opposed making any further concessions to Greece and 51 percent said they wanted see Greece leave the euro."
FED: "Investors in stocks, bonds and real estate are being herded off the cliff by the Federal Reserve," reports ZeroHedge. "The name of the game in the New Normal is to force investors large and small into risk assets. When the risk assets blow up, the herd plunges headlong over the cliff en masse. Virtually every statistic and every public utterance by Federal Reserve spokespeople or mouthpieces is designed to persuade us of several untruths -- untruths that are the essential foundation of the vested interests benefiting so mightily from the corrupt, unsustainable status quo: 1. The official statistics--unemployment, GDP, etc.--are accurate reflections of actual economic activity. 2. Risk assets (stocks, bonds and real estate) are no longer risky because 'the Fed has your back.' 3. Too big to fail/jail corporations are the foundation of our prosperity, so no expense will be spared to bail them out and restore corporate balance sheets and profits." To learn more about protecting your assets, read The Biggest Bank Heist in History.
6.11.15 - Inflation Creates Zombie Currencies
Gold last traded at $1,180 an ounce. Silver at $15.96 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks extended their rally Thursday on rising consumer retail spending while ignoring rising jobless claims. A firmer U.S. dollar caused commodity and precious metal prices to ease back.
CURRENCY: "Zimbabwe Demonetizes Currency," reports Zero Hedge. "Starting June 15th and ending September 30th, the Zimbabwe Central bank will begin its process of 'demonetization' of the old Zimbabwe Dollar. The Zimbabwe dollar will be removed as legal tender after the currency's use was abandoned in 2009 following a surge in inflation to 500 billion percent. For bank accounts containing up to 175 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars they will be paid $5, the country’s central bank said."
'Modest' inflation, can quickly turn into 'hyper' inflation, as we have seen many times in history - most recently in Zimbabwe. Nearly a century ago hyperinflation struck Weimar, West Germany; as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte have cover in their last two books, The Great Withdrawal and DON'T BANK ON IT!...
Among the first effects and symptoms of inflation is an illusion of prosperity, abundance and well-being that tricks most of the people sometimes, and some people all of the time. When this sweeps through an economy, it is called the “wealth effect”...This effect of inflation is addictive and requires ever-increasing doses of stimulus money. Soon thereafter, it is followed by a crash when people lose faith in their paper money. A hangover then ensues that can last for years, even decades.
This inflation deception happened in Germany’s Weimar Republic after World War I, where vast quantities of paper money run off the printing presses first intoxicated, then addicted, and in its hyperinflationary crash devastated the society as people needed wheelbarrows full of money to buy a single loaf of bread.
Social values were destroyed in the upside-down Weimar world where hard work and thrift led to poverty, while irresponsible borrowing made wastrels wealthy as they paid off debts with devalued worthless currency. Weimar's hyperinflation and moral breakdown thus paved the path to the depravity of Adolf Hitler. (The Great Withdrawal, page 115-116)
Today, in the early 21st Century the dollar has reached the last of its cat-like nine lives. It might continue as a ghost or virtual or Zombie currency. Its fastapproaching next fall, however, will end its final incarnation as tangible currency. (DBOI, page 69)
HOUSING: Speaking of zombies, "Banks annihilating 'zombie' foreclosures," reports CNBC. "There are now about 127,000 zombie foreclosures, down 10 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, a foreclosure listing and analytics company. That means that one in five homes that are in the foreclosure process, that is the legal process has started but the bank has not yet repossessed the home, are vacant."
RECESSION: "Watch out" for the next recession, warns Economist, which could be sparked if the Fed prematurely raises interest rates. "Raising rates while wages are flat and inflation is well below the central bankers' target risks pushing economies back to the brink of deflation and precipitating the very recession they seek to avoid. When central banks have raised rates too early - as the European Central Bank did in 2011 - they have done such harm that they have felt compelled to reverse course."
BONDS: "Bond crash across the world..." reports London Telegraph. "Yields on 10-year Bonds blew through 1% today, spearheading a violent repricing of credit across the world. Paper losses over the last three months have reached $1.2 trillion....Nobody knows what will happen when the spigot of cheap dollar liquidity is actually turned off. Dollar debts outside US jurisdiction have ballooned from $2 trillion to $9 trillion in fifteen years, leaving the world more dollarized and more vulnerable to Fed action than at any time since the fixed exchange system of the Gold Standard. This has plainly been a bond market bubble, one that is unwinding with particular ferocity because new regulations have driven market-makers out of the business and caused liquidity to evaporate. Laurent Crosnier from Amundi puts it pithily: 'rather than yield at no risk, bonds have been offering risk at no yield.'"
GOLD: China sets sight set on world economic/currency domination, which includes replacing the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency by backing their currency with gold reserves, as the dollar once did. "Chinese Gold Standard Would Need a Rate 50 Times Bullion's Price", reports Bloomberg. "Chinese policy makers are trying to establish the yuan as a reserve currency, and backing it with gold would help attract foreign capital inflows, the Bloomberg research unit wrote. Theoretically, to create an exchange rate of one ounce of gold for every $64,000, the country would need about 10,000 metric tons of the metal, they estimated. That’s nine times the nation's official holdings and about 6% of all the bullion ever mined globally."
Will this happen? No one knows, but we DO know owning physical gold at today's modest price will keep you ahead of the financial curve. Read more: The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver.
6.10.15 - Middle Class Financial Self-Defense
Gold last traded at $1,186 an ounce. Silver at $15.96 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks advanced Wednesday, lifting the Dow out of the red for the year, as a weaker U.S. dollar boosted stocks and commodities. Oil prices rose above $60 a barrel and precious metal prices jumped higher on safe haven buying and bargain hunting.
MIDDLE CLASS: 4 out of 5 Americans say the U.S. middle class is shrinking, according to a recent MacArthur Foundation poll, reports CNBC. "The research released Tuesday states 79 percent of Americans - across all ages and political party affiliations - believe it is more common for people to fall out of the middle class than rise up to it. The report also noted a lack of confidence in the government - at national and local levels - in putting affordable housing at the forefront of the policy agenda. In a statement, MacArthur President Julie Stasch called the survey a 'wake-up call,' as the continuation of the American Dream appears dim for some."
"Gold is Middle Class Wealth Insurance!," says author Wayne Allyn Root, in his latest book, The Murder of the Middle Class, Chapter 23, "Saving YOU from the Murder of the Middle Class" ...
Owning gold creates economic confidence, rather than depending on political confidence. Today, more Americans receive government assistance than work full time. Progressive politicians and their economists publicly state that their goal is to more evenly "redistribute the wealth", but the fruit of their public policies have done just the opposite and are today crushing the Middle Class.
I say instead of allowing the government to "redistribute the wealth", it's time for you to put yourself and your family on "a personal gold standard".
Is the world of of gold and precious metals foreign or confusing to you? Then simply look at it as "wealth insurance." It's a payment just like your health insurance, homeowner's insurance, auto insurance, etc. If things get really bad, gold is your protection.
Click here to read The Murder of the Middle Class, Chapter 23 now The Middle Class Weapon of Self-Defense.
BANKS: Globalist leaders are discussing how to increase capital controls on consumers in America, reports Infowars. "Numerous influential voices have recently called for eliminating physical currency altogether, giving central banks and governments the power to directly control your finances under the justification of preventing an economic collapse and bank runs. At its most authoritarian extreme, this means having to obtain government permission every time you withdraw or spend a moderately large sum of money....Last year, Harvard University's Kenneth Rogoff also called for 'abolishing physical currency' in order to stop 'tax evasion and illegal activity' as well as preventing people from withdrawing money when interest rates are close to zero....to bring to fruition the day when you cannot buy or sell anything without government approval." Of course this topic was first covered in detail in DON'T BANK ON IT!, After The G-20, The Biggest Bank Heist in History and the upcoming White Paper entitled THE BIG SECRET.
MID-EAST: "Isis's dirty bomb: Jihadists have seized enough radioactive material to build their first WMD," reports the Independent. "The Isis militant group has seized enough radioactive material from government facilities to suggest it has the capacity to build a large and devastating 'dirty' bomb, according to Australian intelligence reports. Isis declared its ambition to develop weapons of mass destruction in the most recent edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, and Indian defence officials have previously warned of the possibility the militants could acquire a nuclear weapon from Pakistan." For the full story about Mid-East risks read AMERICA ENGULFED.
OIL: Finally some good new regarding U.S. oil production. Despite ongoing efforts by the Obama administration to slow domestic oil production and build new pipelines for distribution, "U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer," reports Bloomberg. "The U.S. has taken Russia's crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from America's shale fields. U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plc's Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday."
FREE TRADE: "Free trade needs sound money," reports TheWeeklyStandard. "Into the vacuum of a dismantled currency system came the theory of floating exchange rates, propounded by economist Milton Friedman, which posited that a 'free-market' approach would allow the forces of supply and demand to determine the appropriate exchange rate among currencies. What Friedman didn't anticipate - and would later bemoan - was that governments would intervene massively in foreign exchange markets to strategically position their own currencies and thus confound the process for achieving a market-determined exchange rate....When the vision of a peaceful and prosperous postwar world was presented to delegates at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in July 1944, it came with certain ground rules....Deliberate 'beggar-thy-neighbor' devaluations would not be allowed. Participating nations agreed to fix their currencies to the U.S. dollar, and the dollar was fixed to gold." That all ended in 1971 when Nixon cut the link between the U.S. dollar and gold, as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte detailed in a 2011 report, Re-Making Money.
6.9.15 - U.S. Government & Bank 'Job-Killers'
Gold last traded at $1,177 an ounce. Silver at $15.95 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded mixed Tuesday - struggling to move back into positive territory for the year - amid an uptick in April job openings and U.S. wholesale inventories. A weaker U.S. dollar helped propel oil and precious metal prices upward.
JOBS: Extending Overtime Pay is a Job-Killer reports FoxNews. Author and Swiss America Chairman Craig R Smith on Your World With Neil Cavuto discusses Obama's authority to change overtime rules by doubling the threshold to $52,000 a year for time and a half overtime pay - for both hourly and salaried employees. Smith argues this proposed change would be a job-killer and a recovery killer because it discourages employers to pay overtime, thus creating more part-time work. The solution, says Smith, is to shrink government and reduce regulation.
BANKS: "Banking giant HSBC to shed 50,000 jobs, reports Reuters. "HSBC pledged a new era of higher dividends on Tuesday, laying out plans to slash nearly one in five jobs and shrink its investment bank by a third to combat sluggish growth across its sprawling empire....it will speed up a cull of unprofitable units and countries by cutting almost 50,000 jobs....'Slaughtering the staff is not necessarily the solution unless management makes the bank considerably less complex,' said James Antos, analyst at Mizuho Securities Asia." So it appears "healthy" banks must now cut back to face the realities of what Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte refer to as "The ZIRP Trap" in their latest White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History...
The ZIRP Trap2-min. video: The Fed is Trapped in ZIRP World
After a central bank such as the Fed launches a policy of zero interest rates (aka ZIRP), it soon finds it difficult to escape from “The ZIRP Trap.”
The ZIRP Trap is a term coined in a 2015 study by Philipp Bagus, an Economics Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. His study shows the many ways that this policy transforms a nation's economy and social values into a very different matrix he calls "ZIRP World."
"The exit from ZIRP is likely the most difficult and important policy issue for Western economies today," writes Bagus.
Most economists recognize that ZIRP was intended to be a short-term measure used to deal with an economic emergency, but that it cannot sustain a healthy economic recovery or long-term prosperity.
In the long run, ZIRP will turn America's economy into a stagnant, fetid swamp where we are neck deep in a stinking, unnatural liquidity that stunts growth and is too toxic to quench anyone's thirst.
Meanwhile, "Justice Department probes banks for rigging Treasury market", reports MarketWatch. "The Justice Department is looking into possible fraudulent manipulation of the $12.5 trillion Treasurys market, The N.Y. Post has learned. The request for information came as Justice was set to wrap up a probe into manipulation of foreign currency rates. Also last month, five banks pleaded guilty and paid a total of $5 billion in fines to settle a Justice probe into rigging Libor rates."
FED: "QE 'sucking out' liquidity in markets", reports CNBC. "The aim of quantitative easing (QE) might be to increase liquidity in global markets, but it's actually having the opposite effect, according to one analyst, Antonin Jullier, global head of equity trading strategy at Citi. Jullier told CNBC Tuesday that the bond-buying policies implemented by central banks including the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank had had a detrimental effect.'The lack of liquidity is coming from QE, it's one of the consequences...it's sucking it out,' he said."
GOLD: With "US set to unwind QE", now is the time to "increase cash" and "reduce risk," says Societe Generale, a French multinational banking and financial services company. They advise reducing stock holdings and increasing both cash and commodities, reports ZeroHedge, due to likely increase in inflation. Summer is the best time of the year to increase your asset allocation into physical gold and silver, due to yearly, cyclical price dips and rising economic uncertainty. Call Swiss America at 800-289-2646 to discuss seizing this annual golden opportunity today!
6.8.15 - It's Now a Crime to "Almost" Break the Law
Gold last traded at $1,173 an ounce. Silver at $15.95 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell for a third day Monday, as investor fear of the unknown rises. Meanwhile the U.S. dollar weakened on reports that Obama told the G-7 its strength is "a problem". Precious metal prices rose on bargain hunting and a weaker dollar.
BANKS: A new article by Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, CASH AND CARRY: It Is Now Against the Law to "Almost" Break the Law, explains how and why your bank is required to spy on your financial and business life ...
How much cash can you now withdraw from your bank and carry in America without risk of being arrested, or of having your assets seized, merely for possessing money in this liquid form?
The ominous answer is that carrying even one dollar in cash might give the government a pretext for such actions.
Today, because of anti-racketeering RICO statutes and the 2001 Patriot Act, your bank is required to notify the Federal Government if you deposit or withdraw $10,000 or more in cash. In effect, your bank is required to spy on your financial life in this way for the government.
So it is now against the law to “almost” break the law. What’s next? The IRS penalizing you for “structuring” your spending to evade taxes by giving enough to charity to fall into a lower tax bracket?
President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has also given your banker a long list of “risky” enterprises under what it calls “Operative Choke Point.” Banks are expected at the first sign of “suspicious” business activity to shut down that business’s checking and savings accounts.
G-7 SUMMIT: Today wraps up the three day G-7 Summit in Bavaria, Germany, with a primary action plan of creating new laws to limit global warming. No wonder the Guardian reports, "Scrap the G7 and its summit - it is hopeless, divided and outdated....The G7 has plenty to talk about: Greece; Ukraine; the next set of development goals and how to finance them; climate change; trade; the weakness of the global recovery; how to engineer the exit from the zero interest rate environment of the past six years; combating systematic tax evasion; and tackling inequality. David Cameron wants the Fifa scandal to prompt a wider discussion about corruption. What it does not have, and has not had since 2010, is a common view about how to go about achieving any of these aims." Note: We agree these meetings have become almost irrelevant as they rarely produce any meaningful change. However the last meeting of the G-20 did confirm the plan to establish bank bail-ins, as we cover in the White Paper, After The G-20.
CYBER-THREAT: Speaking of the G-7, President Obama did admit we should expect accelerating U.S. cyber-attacks. "The U.S. government has long known about its cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and the problem is only getting worse", President Barack Obama said Monday, reports CNBC. "We have known for a long time that there are significant vulnerabilities, and that these vulnerabilities are going to accelerate as time goes by, both in systems within government and within the private sector, Obama said at news conference from the Group of Seven summit in Germany. Turning to economic considerations, the president shot down a report that he had been talking down the U.S. dollar in private meetings."
FED: "Bond-Market a Dangerous Game of Chicken With Fed," reports Bloomberg. "If the Federal Reserve is really so intent on raising interest rates this year, why is Wall Street chopping its forecasts for bond yields? For all the hand-wringing over the recent selloff that wiped out about $1.2 trillion in value from the global bond market, the fixed-income market's best and brightest have actually taken down their year-end estimates for Treasuries in four of the past five months. It amounts to a dangerous game of chicken, in which many analysts and investors are betting the Fed won’t lift rates too fast because of the damage it may inflict on the economy - even after last week's stronger-than-expected jobs report."
6.5.15 - Unintended Consequences of the Fed Fix
Gold last traded at $1,168 an ounce. Silver at $15.98 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell on Friday as May's upbeat jobs report lifted expectations of an interest-rate hike this fall; for the first time in nine years. Meanwhile, jobs data boosted the dollar which weighed upon oil and precious metal prices.
JOBS: "The U.S. Labor Department reports the unemployment rate was 5.5% in May - but does that rate tell the real story?", asks CNBC. "A number of economists look past the 'main' unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls 'U-6,' which it defines as 'total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons'". As the chart illustrates, the total unemployed is still 10.8% - nearly double the "official" number. Also keep in mind the initial unemployment 'guestimate' is very often revised lower based on additional hard data.
FED: When (or if) the Fed starts to move interest rates up, it will have unintended consequences. Higher interest rates could strengthen the dollar, which may lead to slower U.S. economic growth, GDP contraction (due to less exports) and less tax revenue. The Fed knows this, but can they avoid it? Lifting the U.S. off zero interest rates puts the Fed squarely between a rock and a hard place, as is covered in The Biggest Bank Heist in History ...
The Fed's growing power has transformed and politicized the U.S. economy into a hybrid like itself, no longer truly free enterprise, but not yet fully collectivized as Progressives desire. Our money is now Federal Reserve Notes unbacked by the gold that America's Framers looked to for independent value.
Our society and values are at a tipping point of fundamental change. Few decisions may have more impact on our future than the Fed at least temporarily giving up its power to reduce interest rates by taking them to zero with ZIRP.
We have been taken far away from America's founding ideals of personal and economic freedom. The night sky is full of unfamiliar constellations. Are we trapped on this brave new world, or can we find our way home?
ECONOMY: Why doesn't this feel like a real economic recovery to most Americans? "Economy’s biggest issue: People don't have money to spend," reports NY Post. "Interest from savings is down to zero, people don't liquidate stock gains to make purchases, and job and income growth has been sketchy. The economy isn't doing much better in the current quarter either. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta measures growth so far in the second quarter at an annual rate of just 1.1%. That means growth is a paltry 0.275% with less than four weeks left in the quarter."
CYBER-CRIME: "U.S. Suspects Hackers in China Breached About 4 Million People's Records," reports WSJ. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing an apparently far-reaching penetration of data held by the Office of Personnel Management, in which a vast amount of information about approximately 4 million federal employees was accessed, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. officials suspect hackers based in China are behind the attack....One official described it as one of the largest thefts of government data ever seen." DON'T BANK ON IT! authors Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte believe cyber-attacks are the #1 threat facing Americans today - which means the federal government views this threat as the #1 opportunity ...
Governments also see opportunity in any cyber-currency willing to bend its knee to politicians. Politicians are eager to move from hard-to-track physical money to a "cashless society" in which all future transactions are merely electronic impulses passing through - and being taxed automatically by - government-monitored computers. A politically-submissive Bitcoin-like currency would be a huge step towards "cashless" control. (DBOI, pages 194-195)
6.4.15 - No summer economic recovery in sight
Gold last traded at $1,175 an ounce. Silver at $16.10 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell sharply Thursday as the recent bond selloff and lack of resolution on Greece kept investors on edge ahead of Friday's employment report. U.S. non-farm productivity was revised downward to 3.1% in the first quarter, from 1.9% - the lowest in 22 years. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar edged lower along with oil and precious metal prices.
FED: "Forget a Fed rate hike; QE4 is coming," Marc Faber tells CNBC. "When I look at the whole financial sector... I feel like [I'm] on the Titanic. We're fighting about deck chairs, [meaning] which assets are performing best and we're fighting over the best tables in the ballroom, but I think it's best to find your safety boat and ladder because I think the financial sector will implode one day," said the editor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report. Meanwhile, the IMF is urgently requesting the Federal Reserve hold off on any interest rate increases until the first half of 2016. As Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in their White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History, Mark Faber is likely correct.
OBAMATRADE: "The secrecy charade has collapsed," reports the UK Independent. "Wikileaks has released 17 different documents relating to the so-called 'secret' negotiations for a massive global trade deal known as the Trade in Services Agreement, a lesser known cousin of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that US President Barack Obama has been campaigning heavily for in Washington. The leak has been timed to coincide with a meeting of leaders for the Trade in Services Agreement in Paris. TiSA is one of three trade treaties that global political leaders have been trying to agree on, alongside TTP and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)". ObamaTrade Secrets 2-min. video explains why TTP is likely another case of, "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it."
GOLD: June/July gold price lows create a sizzling summer buying opportunity. Pricing patterns in June and July allowed investors the opportunity each year to buy gold at levels below the average annual price for that year. For example, gold prices have risen an average 11.2% between June/July and December over the last 15 years. As for growth potential, Marketwatch notes one analyst calling for $25,000 an ounce gold over the next decade - a twentyfold rise! Buying low is a hallmark of wise long-term financial planning. Contact a Swiss America representative at 800-289-2646 to discuss the best values available in the gold market today.
6.3.15 - Bank 'bail-in' rules ramped up
Gold last traded at $1,184 an ounce. Silver at $16.48 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rose Wednesday, despite a mixed batch of economic data showing service sector growth slowed in May, while the U.S. trade deficit shrunk in April. Meanwhile, oil and precious metal prices retreated on profit-taking despite a weaker U.S. dollar.
STOCKS: "The stock market is becoming a 'lose-lose' situation", reports BusinessInsider. In a note to clients Tuesday, Bank of America's Michael Hartnett wrote, "...mid-2015 environment is lose-lose: end of global easing, start of Fed hiking must raise volume; conversely no rate hike would be because GDP/EPS poor or a financial accident....Only then risk allocations rise with certainty. Until then, we continue to think gold, cash, vol, developed market banks perform well, and would sell into any frothy, speculative moves to upside in tech, Japan, China." So now we have yet another major Bank of America analyst suggesting gold is a safe place to park your money until further notice. Two weeks ago Bloomberg reported B of A's warning, Markets Are in a 'Twilight Zone' and It's Time to Hold More Cash and Gold.
BANKS: "EU regulators tell 11 countries to adopt bank bail-in rules", reports Reuters. "The European Commission gave France, Italy and nine other EU countries two months to adopt new EU rules on propping up failed banks or face legal action. The rules, known as the bank recovery and resolution directive (BRRD), seek to shield taxpayers from having to bail out troubled lenders, forcing creditors and shareholders to contribute to the rescue in a process known as 'bail-in'."
Bank 'bail-in' rules are ramping up in 2015, just as authors Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte warned in their December 2014 White Paper After The G-20... WATCH:Is your bank account the government's next target? ...
On November 16, 2014, American and global banking were turned upside down because of actions taken by the G-20 at its meeting “down under” in Brisbane, Australia. The G-20's November actions redefined the “ownership” of what we used to think of as “our” bank accounts – and mean that depositors urgently need to rethink how much we should entrust to banks.
“In our last financial crisis, [bank] deposits were de facto guaranteed by the state,” BusinessWeek ascribes to Napier, “but from November 16th holders of large-scale deposits will be, both de facto and de jure, just another creditor squabbling over their share of the assets” if their bank fails.
The message from the G-20 is that our banks are no longer the safe haven we once believed them to be – and the U.S. Dollar may no longer be as reliable a store of value as it once was. Our deposits in the bank should henceforth be regarded not as secure, but as “at risk” investments for which banks now pay depositors near-zero interest.
FED: "Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates this year," reports Marketwatch. Jeffrey Gundlach, founder of Doubleline Capital, on Wednesday predicted the Federal Reserve is not likely to raise interest rates this year despite signals from the central bank that a rate hike may be on the agenda in the near future. "If the Fed doesn't raise rates, that's bad for the long bond because the bond wants it to tighten," he told CNBC. Stocks, however, will continue to benefit from a loose monetary policy because "stocks love their friend, zero interest rate policy (ZIRP)," Gundlach said.
Swiss America's White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History, explains how ZIRP greatly benefits government and other key powerful entities; but by imposing wildly unreal low interest rates, it has created a distorted, unnatural economic system. WATCH: Could the Fed be trapped in a ZIRP world? ...
“When rates fall beyond a certain point,” warned the London-based Financial Times in February 2015, “hoarding physical cash becomes rational, as does sinking it into assets like gold or property....”
With central banks boasting of their plans to debase national currencies via deliberately-created inflation – that is, to steal the value from those who trust their nation's money – today it makes urgent sense to diversify and convert a portion of one's savings from paper fiat money into solid, reliable stores of value such as gold.
6.2.15 - Economic Confidence on the Low Road
Gold last traded at $1,194 an ounce. Silver at $16.80 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks modestly cheered the sharply lower U.S. dollar Tuesday, then fell back after data showed eurozone inflation rising. Meanwhile, U.S. factory orders fell for the eighth time in nine months, suggesting the recovery is weak at best. Precious metal prices rose on the back of a falling dollar and wise safe haven buying.
STOCKS: Today's market is "A Bubble on Thin Ice," writes Pater Tenebrarum at Acting-man.com. "A recent Bloomberg article discusses the fact that most traders active today have never known anything but the era of easy money, and wonders how they will handle the potential end of that era. To this it should be mentioned that the widely expected rate hike cycle may well never begin....Continued economic weakness may encourage the Federal Reserve to simply continue with the ZIRP policy, although it appears to be eager to end it." We agree the rate hike talk is a giant smoke screen masking the truth. Fed zero interest policy has failed badly, yet the government and big banks benefit from this ZIRP policy, as discussed in The Biggest Bank Heist in History.
FED: Speaking of failed Fed policy experiments, what's next? Move over 'Helicopter Ben' it's now time to begin rolling out 'Helicopter Janet'. "Helicopter Money Calls Have Begun," reports Zerohedge, referencing a recent Bloomberg story by Clive Crook who writes, "Sooner rather than later, attention therefore needs to turn to a new kind of unconventional monetary policy: helicopter money." Crook continues, "Standard accounting terms lose their usual meanings when applied to central banks. Money isn't a liability in the ordinary sense. Nobody is owed and nothing ever has to be paid back. An entity that can create money can't ever go bust." Wrong. Central banks can go broke...Exhibit A; Wiemar, West Germany. "Once you undercut that confidence by doing things like dropping fiat currency out of a metaphorical helicopter, well, the genie is then out of the bottle," concludes Zerohedge.
IRAN: Oil prices rose above $61 a barrel as news of "Iran's Nuclear Stockpile Grows," reports NY Times. "With only one month left before a deadline to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, international inspectors have reported that Tehran's stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partially undercutting the Obama administration's contention that the Iranian program had been 'frozen' during that period." The Mid-East is one of the great economic wild cards, as covered in our latest White Paper, AMERICA ENGULFED.
BANKS: 'The bigger the bank, the smaller the public trust' seems to be the latest consumer trend. "Bank Mergers May Chase Away Customers," reports Gallup.com. "Mergers and acquisitions pose many risks for banks, but there's one risk leaders may be overlooking: increased customer attrition. According to the FDIC, there were 1,581 mergers and consolidations of banks and credit unions between 2010 and 2014. When an acquiring bank has lower customer engagement than its target bank, customer attrition at the target bank rises to 10%, Gallup's study shows. This is twice the average rate of attrition for the industry and represents a significant risk for lost value for the acquiring bank."
6.1.15 - Your Bank Spies on You, Like Speaker Hastert
Gold last traded at $1,191 an ounce. Silver at $16.75 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rose slightly Monday despite a mixed bag of economic reports on consumer spending, construction and manufacturing. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar advanced on worries a Greek default will further weaken the euro. Precious metal prices steadied.
STOCKS: "Nobel prize winner Robert Shiller said that in his opinion, unlike 1929, this time everything - stocks, bonds and housing - was overvalued," reports Zerohedge. CNBC adds, "The market is concerned that if the economy can't grow with rates at zero, then when will it grow?" A very good question which stock investors should be asking themselves.
BANKS: Authors Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte offer an important perspective on the latest political scandal in an upcoming news release entitled: "HOW HASTERT'S SECRET SEX SCANDAL TOUCHES YOU: Your Bank Spies On You, Too, For the Government." Here is a short preview ...
Immediately after his indictment, rumors exploded that former Republican House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois paid $1.7 Million in hush money to buy a purported victim's silence about his alleged sexual misbehavior.
The government’s charges against Hastert, however, thus far have nothing to do with sex….and much to do with the no-longer-private, no-longer-secure world of banking.
The federal indictment accuses Hastert only of making, and then lying about, bank withdrawals in violation of a relatively-new, almost Orwellian crime called "structuring."
In our 2014 book DON'T BANK ON IT! The Unsafe World of 21st Century Banking, we warned that the Federal Government now requires your bank to spy on you and report every withdrawal or deposit you make of $10,000 or more.
The government also created a related crime called “structuring” to snare those deliberately making withdrawals or deposits a few thousand dollars below this widely-known legal threshold in order to avoid triggering a report.
In other words, it is a crime not to report making a $10,000 withdrawal. And it might also be a crime not to report making multiple withdrawals over a year that, combined, add up to $10,000.
Hastert's financial sin is that he allegedly made a series of cash withdrawals. At first of $50,000 each, but then - after bank officials questioned why for their report - he made withdrawals of less than $10,000 each.
The time has come to seek better, safer, more private places to secure your assets. The confiscation of America's banked assets has just begun and could soon get much, much worse.
5.29.15 - U.S. Economy Stalls On Obamanomics
Gold last traded at $1,191 an ounce. Silver at $16.70 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell on the day (and the week) Friday after the government confirmed GDP economic growth fell 0.7% in Q1, instead of rising 0.2% as initially reported. The disappointing news sent the U.S. dollar downward while modestly boosting precious metal prices.
ECONOMY: New low growth report shows the government's "Deficit of Trust" continues. News of U.S. economic growth falling nearly 1% underwater in Q1 2015 was quickly back-peddled in the mass media with headlines such as WSJ's MarketWatch headline: "The Economy Contracted, But We’re Not in Recession....The GDP report appears to underestimate growth in the first quarter, and overestimate growth in the second and third quarters, many analysts contend."
AP reports, "Though falling GDP can be a sign of a recession, economists see little cause for such concern this year." N.Y. Times adds, "...virtually no mainstream economists are predicting that the economy is about to fall into a recession."
"Don't believe it," say authors Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte, who together have written five books in as many years predicting the Fed's "anti-stimulus" manipulation of interest rates near zero would not boost U.S. economic growth, but stunt growth instead.
Here are a few quotes predicting the failure of Progressive economics from their latest book, DON'T BANK ON IT! ...
"We predicted that in the Great Recession that began in 2008, following Keynes' prescription would produce an 'anti-stimulus' because by increasing the risk of inflation it would cause businesses to invest and hire less, not more. History has shown that we were right. Even a veteran economist with the St. Louis Federal Reserve acknowledged that the stimulus made things worse, not better….Read more: 20 Economic Predictions Come True Since 2010 ... DON'T BANK ON IT! book Offers 20 New Warnings!.
"It is prescribed to stimulate. Instead, it induces symptoms that in modern economies resemble those produced by Prozac or tranquilizers. The boom and bust cycle is leveled somewhat, like the highs and lows of someone with bipolar disorder, but the effect is to put an economy’s ‘animal spirits’ into a trance-like state that reduces energy, vitality, productivity and innovation." (DBOI, Pages 101-102)
"The past century of Progressive economics has brought us to this point: a near-stagnant economy in a welfare state where roughly half the population gets some kind of government benefit.”
“America has come out of great depressions and recessions before. What frightens economists is that the past six years have brought the slowest ‘recovery’ in American history….indeed, not really a recovery at all, because average income has kept falling during the so-called ‘recovery,’” says Ponte, a former think tank futurist.
“This is caused by the biggest deficit we’ve ever faced – a deficit not just in prosperity but above all in TRUST,” says Ponte.
“Today’s numbers from the Obama Administration show that once again they’ve been lying to us…..just as they do when claiming that unemployment is 5 percent while America has 93 million working age people without needed full-time jobs, the worst job participation rate since Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s economic malaise in 1977,” says Ponte.
“Truth be told, we’ve never gotten out of the Obama Great Recession. You can lie to uneducated voters with phony numbers, but you can’t fool big time investors who see that real growth and productivity are at or below zero…and who know that the high stock market is now just a casino fueled by zero percent interest rates and stock buy-backs, not growth or profits,” says Ponte.
“Individuals can protect themselves, which is why we wrote DON'T BANK ON IT! to show them how,” says Ponte. “But we can’t go on much longer with the huge and growing deficit of Trust that people around the world now see in our government and its manipulated dollar. This is what's killing real investment and job creation.”
5.28.15 - The Great "Obamatrade" Debate
Gold last traded at $1,188 an ounce. Silver at $16.67 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded lower Thursday as investors digested possible interest rate hikes ahead of Friday's revised first-quarter GDP data. Meanwhile, China stocks ended with a 6.5% loss as investors raced for the exits. Precious metals steadied near two-week lows as the U.S. dollar index leveled off near 12-year highs.
HOUSING: Good news for some home sellers - U.S. home buyers signed more contracts to buy existing properties in April. CNBC reports, "A monthly index of so-called 'pending' home sales from the National Association of Realtors rose 3.4%, the highest level in nine years." The primary driver: pending sales in the Northeast, which soared 10.1% from the month before.
OBAMATRADE: Is the new so-called 'ObamaTrade' good or bad for Americans? The proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP for short) is the latest bill targeted for fast-track passage by the Obama administration, with support from Republican leaders and opposition from some Democratic leaders. "Giving Obama Trade Power Is Letting Lion Out of Cage," veteran political analyst Dick Morris tells NewsMax TV. "I'm strongly opposed to this, and I'm appalled at the spectacle that the Republican leadership is trying desperately to give Obama vast new powers...The whole goal of this is to create a mechanism that supersedes the sovereignty of the United States government," he contends. "This is not about trade."
For a quick overview of TPP, watch this new 2-minute video: OBAMATRADE SECRETS: Must We Pass the Bill to See What's In It?
BANKS: "Consumers tell banks: Protect our data or we're through!" reports CNN. "That's according to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans conducted for public relations and communications firm Makovsky by market researcher Ebiquity in March. Nearly three-quarters of the survey's respondents said they would likely switch to another financial services provider if their financial or other personal information were stolen by cybercriminals. A sense of trust seems to be lost almost forever for some customers."
DON'T BANK ON IT! Chapter One: Breaking the Banks covers the emerging cyber-crime threat ...
A modern criminal gang can steal not only what you saved in past years but also your present financial identity and future credit. Stagecoach robbers used to demand ‘your money or your life.’ Today’s cyber criminals can, in a very real sense, rob you of both at the same time. (DBOI, Page 25)
Government agencies, (such as the IRS) corporations and banks could already have dormant “mole” programs undetected in their computer networks. Hackers and foreign agents can activate such moles from far away at an opportune, coordinated moment to bring down entire major banks or our banking system. (DBOI, Page 26)
GOLD: "Gold can glitter if stocks hit the rocks," reports Marketwatch. "If you’re of the precious metal persuasion - or at least agnostic about gold and willing to go where the market takes you - here are some factors to consider. 1. Supply and demand....a 40% jump in gold demand over the past 10 years. 2. No true 'risk-off' market yet....All bets may be off if we see a correction in equities...3. Gold can rise along with interest rates...there is historical evidence of gold rising significantly even as rates rise and the dollar moves higher. Why not this time, indeed." Swiss America believes every portfolio needs a solid foundation of physical gold now - before the next crisis strikes the financial and stock markets.
5.27.15 - Silver Shines As Stocks Bubble
Gold last traded at $1,185 an ounce. Silver at $16.64 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Stocks rebounded Wednesday after Tuesday's sell-off amid upbeat earnings from Tiffany and Costco - despite a stronger U.S. dollar and very high stock valuations. Analysts believe the recent dollar strength is largely driven by the continued weakness in the Euro. Meanwhile, commodities and precious metal prices steadied.
STOCKS: "Snapchat CEO Warns 'Easy Money Policy' Has Created The Tech Bubble," warns ZeroHedge. "A month ago 24-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel gave global investors a glimpse at the reality in Silicon Valley's and how the second tech bubble will burst....Spiegel warns we are currently living through a tech bubble and that it's a matter of when, not if, the tech bubble will burst. 'People are making riskier investments and... there will be a correction,' he warned, placing the blame squarely on The Fed's shoulders, explaining that the bubble is being fueled by an 'easy money policy' and low interest rates - that may not last much longer."
GREECE: "Market starts to wonder where Greece will find money to make repayments," reports Euronews. "Reports that depositors have been pulling money out of Greek banks at the rate of 200-300 million euros a day for most of the past week have injected a sense of urgency in Athens, as another debt repayment deadline speeds closer. A new round of talks with the Brussels group of international creditors began late because of problems at the city's airport, adding to the atmosphere of bluff and brinkmanship..." Greece is "Nowhere Close" To A Deal," reports ZeroHedge. DON'T BANK ON IT! reports ...
Because fractional-reserve banking adds this risk of bank runs to the economy, it makes a society more vulnerable and unstable. It has the potential to turn every rumor or problem into a crisis. When you depositmoney into a fractional-reserve bank, the court held, the bank actually becomes the de facto owner of an unsecured loan or asset you have given it. The receipt or passbook that you walk away with and think of as evidence of 'your' bank account is instead an IOU. (DBOI, Page 65)CYBERCRIME: "Hackers stole personal information from 104,000 taxpayers, IRS says," reports Washington Post. "Hackers gained access to personal information of 104,000 taxpayers this spring, downloading an online service the Internal Revenue Service uses to give Americans access to their past tax returns, the agency said Tuesday. The information included several years' worth of returns and other tax information on file with the IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen said in a press conference." DON'T BANK ON IT! warns of growing cyber warfare risks...
Our government, economy and society have become totally dependent on centralized computer networks to move, record and safeguard our transactions and even our individual and company identities. What will happen when an enemy finds ways to unplug – or, perhaps worse, to pour vast amounts of false information into – our computer systems? (DBOI, Page 26)
METALS: Which do you think is the strongest currency in 2015? No, not the U.S. dollar -it is the Russian ruble, which has risen 27% ytd, according to Forbes. Second best performer? Silver, which is up 15% ytd. "Gold, as you'll recall, was the second best performing currency last year; outpacing every currency on earth except the U.S. dollar. Gold has been dragged through mud for the past three years as it lags financial assets like stocks and bonds, but this excess liquidity will eventually flow into hard assets." We agree. Speaking of silver, this 2-minute video explains the recent discovery of a silver bar from the famous pirate Captain Kidd.... 17th Century Pirate Treasure Found in Madagascar, Read more: The Timeless Truth About Gold & Silver.
5.26.15 - Supreme Court Favors Pension "Protection"
Gold last traded at $1,186 an ounce. Silver at $16.74 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: Consumer confidence rose in May, but U.S. stocks slid Tuesday as a sharp increase in the U.S. dollar sent short-term investors running into government Treasury bonds and out of stocks, commodities and precious metals.
FED: The Fed is again hedging on raising interest rates this year if the global economy worsens, as expected. Marketwatch reports Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said today, "The Federal Reserve could take a slower approach to raising interest rates if weaker-than-expected growth overseas affects the U.S. economy....the United States is not just any economy and, thus, the Federal Reserve not just any central bank." Indeed, Fed policy has the power to both create and destroy money, as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in their White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History.
PENSIONS: "Kiss your Pension Fund Good-Bye," warns economist Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics. "The US Supreme Court ruled last week in the unanimous, 8-page decision in Tibble v. Edison holding that employers have a duty to protect workers in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that are too expensive or perform poorly. This fits perfectly just in time for the Obama administration's next assault as they prepare a landmark change of its own by issuing rules requiring that financial advisers put the interest of customers ahead of their own. This creates a very gray area wide enough to justify public seizure of pension funds under management," warns Armstrong.
"Yet this decision is even deeper. It sets the stage to JUSTIFY government seizure of private pension funds to protect pensioners. When the economy turns down and things get messy, they are placing measures in place to eliminate money in and physical dimension, closing all tax loopholes, shutting down the world economy with FATCA, and preparing for the final straw of Economic Totalitarianism with the Supreme Court reversing its entire construction of the Constitution to impose a duty upon employers to ensure the 401K plans perform in a world where interest rates are going negative. You really cannot make up this level of insanity....Between the court ruling and the Obama administration's push for stronger fiduciary rules send a strong message that government can much easier seize the pension fund management industry of course to 'protect the consumer'," Armstrong concludes.
DON'T BANK ON IT! warned about this last year...
One vast pool of money in America not yet seized by politicians is comprised of our retirement accounts - 401(k)s, IRAs, pension funds and more – that add up to more than $20 Trillion dollars. The Obama Administration is acutely aware of what Argentina did in 2008 – how its still-Peronist government struck in the dead of night. People there woke up the next day to find that the money saved in their bank retirement accounts was gone. In place of their life savings was an equal face value in Argentine government bonds. Trouble was, the real market value of those bonds was, at best, only about 29 percent of their face value - so in the name of protecting the people, the government in effect stole nearly three-quarters of their retirement savings. The Obama Administration is considering an even bigger expropriation of retirement accounts here. (DBOI, Page 166)
The government would justify seizing our retirement accounts, of course, as 'protecting' them for our own good. The money it takes from us will be replaced with government debt paper, in effect IOUs, as happened in Argentina and as has happened to the $2.66 Trillion our honorable politicians looted from the Social Security Trust Fund. (DBOI, Page 174)
RECESSION: The world faces a thin margin for error that the next economic shock will tip us back into recession, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at London Telegraph. "The world economy is disturbingly close to stall speed. The United Nations has cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.8%, the latest of the multinational bodies to retreat. We are not yet in the danger zone but this pace is only slightly above the 2.5% rate that used to be regarded as a recession for the international system as a whole. It leaves a thin safety buffer against any economic shock....It is now more likely than not that US economy has dropped through the Fed's stall-speed threshold of two consecutive quarters below 2% growth. Exactly how far below is unclear. HSBC's Mr King says the global authorities face awful choices if the world economy hits the reefs in its current condition. The last resort may have to be 'helicopter money', a radically different form of QE that injects money directly into the veins of economy by funding government spending."
DON'T BANK ON IT! warns about this threat also ...
Only 101 million Americans now have full-time jobs, and of these only 86 million work in the private sector where their paycheck does not come from other people's taxes. This is the lowest full-time job participation rate since Jimmy Carter, the president who turned off the lights in the White House and in the American economy. These full-time workers are the ones who make the goods and pay the majority of personal income taxes, who pull the wagon that everybody else rides in. (DBOI, page 163)
DEBT: "World drowning in debt, warns Goldman Sachs," reports London Telegraph. "The world is sinking under too much debt and an ageing global population means countries' debt piles are in danger of growing out of control, the European chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management has warned. The demographics in most major economies – including the US, in Europe and Japan - are a major issue - and present us with the question of how we are going to pay down the huge debt burden. With life expectancy increasing rapidly, we no longer have the young, working populations required to sustain a debt-driven economic model in the same way as we've managed to do in the past."
5.22.15 - Obama Trade Secrets
Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.05 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks traded mostly lower following Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech on Friday on low volume ahead of the Memorial Day Holiday. Yellen repeated her statement that interest rates will rise "this year", but admitted the economic outlook is "highly uncertain." Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar rallied on rising consumer price inflation data, as the CPI gained 0.1% last month. Gold prices held above $1,200 an ounce.
OBAMATRADE: The proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP) is the latest bill targeted for fast-track passage by the Obama administration, with strong support by some Republican leaders and strong opposition by some Democrats. The secret White House deal promises to expand opportunities for U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses by giving access to emerging markets. But opponents say the negotiations have inadequate protections for workers, the environment, financial regulations, and food-safety measures. If this bill is so great, why are the details being kept secret from the American people? Brietbart reports Senator Orrin Hatch admitting, "I Don’t Know Fully What’s in TPP Myself". But Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission has read TPP and says it "Will Damage This Nation", reports Zero Hedge. Could this be another case of "Just trust us... we have to pass it so you can see what's in it"?
BANKS: "The Big Banks Are Corrupt - and Getting Worse," reports Huffington Post. "The Justice Department's latest settlement with felonious big banks was announced this week, but the repercussions were limited to a few headlines and some scattered protestations. That's not enough. We need to understand that our financial system is not merely corrupt in practice. It is corrupt by design - and the problem is growing....The percentage of bankers who believed their own colleagues had engaged in illegal or unethical behavior has nearly doubled since 2012." Today the biggest banks are 30% bigger than during the 2008 crisis as DON'T BANK ON IT! reveals. The Obama administration has helped too-big-to-fail bankers become too-big-to-jail while they extract billions in fines for further wealth redistribution, as the introduction to Chapter Five, Banking Left explains ...
The 2008 near-collapse of our economy, the Great Recession, and today’s lowest job participation rate in almost 40 years all began because Progressive politicians misused government regulatory power to coerce banks into redistributing home mortgages to groups of people the politicians favored. Today such politicians plan to use regulatory power to squeeze money out of our banks, and your bank account, in even more sinister ways.
GOLD: "Central Banks Continue to Stock Up on Gold," reports NewsMax. "There is a growing disconnect between central banks, which see an increasingly unstable economic environment and thus a need to diversify into gold, and investors, whose interest in gold is slowly declining amidst the same uncertain economic environment. There are several reasons for this. Many investors take the short view." In today's microwave culture, it is important to maintain a clear view of the long-term big picture. This means thinking strategically about the risk-to-reward ratio of your portfolio holdings. Most wise financial experts advise between 10% and 30% be held as a golden foundation, regardless of whether gold prices are rising, flat, or even falling. Central banks own gold to protect their currencies, you and I must own gold to protect our future from growing financial uncertainty.
5.21.15 - The 'Great Unraveling' Continues
Gold last traded at $1,204 an ounce. Silver at $17.13 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks eked out small gains Thursday despite missed economic data expectations, falling home sales and rising jobless claims. Why no stock market correction yet? "Because corporations keep buying their own stocks," equity trader Michael Antonelli tells Marketwatch. Investors now face titanic risks in today's 'Twilight Zone' stock market. Meanwhile, precious metal prices hovered near recent highs on a weaker U.S. dollar.
RECESSION: "For Many American States, It's Like the Recession Never Ended," reports Bloomberg. "Six years after the recession [officially] ended, many U.S. states are hard pressed to balance budgets because of a sluggish recovery and their own policy decisions. The fiscal fragility raises questions about how they will weather the next economic downturn. Thirty-two states faced budget gaps in fiscal 2015 or 2016 or both, according to an April 27 report by Standard & Poors." There are no big surprises in this latest news report, which was predicted last year in DON'T BANK ON IT!, page 107 ...
The economic devastation of the Great Recession has been immense. The shockwave of this bubble bursting circled the world in 2008 and 2009, wiping out $50 Trillion in investor equity – an amount approaching one year’s Gross Domestic Product for the entire planet. At least $10 Trillion of that loss was from American equities, as a stock market that had topped 14,000 plummeted to 6,600.
The average home price in America fell by 30 percent or more, a loss to homeowners of more than $5 Trillion in what for most was the biggest investment in their lives, the equity nest egg many had planned to use for retirement or their children’s college education.
This Great Unraveling cost more than five million people their homes, lost to foreclosure or fire sales. Millions more lost their life savings, typically spent to hang on in what then-Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke called an “unusually uncertain” wild roller coaster economy.
Few believe this crisis is near its end. Many fear that worse, perhaps much worse, is soon to come. We continue to suffer in a fragile recovery that is taking longer than what followed the Great Depression.
HOUSING: "Existing home sales unexpectedly drop in April," reports CNBC. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales dropped 3.3%, giving a cautious signal on the strength of the housing market. Zero Hedge reports, "The most stunning data point from today's report: Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace...roughly 40 percent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012." If you are hoping to sell real estate before the next financial crisis hits, this summer may offer your last great opportunity.
BANKS: Yesterday we reported that Too-Big-To-Jail bankers understand no matter how many felonies they commit, none of them will go to jail so long as they pay billions in fines to politicians. Today Bloomberg reports, "Investors yawned at the news Wednesday that five of the world's biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, agreed to plead guilty in a currency-rigging probe....Barely more than a year ago, criminal charges against major U.S. banks were considered unthinkable, with lawyers and analysts viewing felony convictions as a death sentence and a threat to the financial system. Now, by granting waivers allowing lenders to keep operating even after a felony plea, the government has managed to punish firms while protecting them from fatal consequences." Once again Progressive government leaders illustrate that crime does pay, if you are a big enough banker. Sad.
ATM: "Theft of Debit-Card Data From ATMs Soars, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Criminals are stealing card data from U.S. automated teller machines at the highest rate in two decades, preying on ATMs while merchants crack down on fraud at the checkout counter. Debit-card compromises at ATMs located on bank property jumped 174% from Jan. 1 to April 9, compared with the same period last year, while successful attacks at nonbank machines soared by 317%, according to FICO." Major banking risk #3 listed in DON'T BANK ON IT! on page 215 ...
3. In the dawning age of cyber warfare, banks and the individual accounts in banks will be prime targets for looting, disruption and erasure.
5.20.15 - Not Too-Big-To-Jail Banksters
Gold last traded at $1,208 an ounce. Silver at $17.11 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks barely treaded water following dovish Fed minutes and ahead of Fed chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. Meanwhile, government regulators around the globe fined banks nearly $6 billion for rigging in the currency and interest rate markets. Precious metal prices inched higher despite a firmer dollar.
BANKS: "5 Banks to Pay Billions and Plead Guilty in Market Manipulation," reports New York Times. "Adding another entry to Wall Street's growing rap sheet, five big banks have agreed to pay more than $5 billion and plead guilty to multiple crimes related to manipulating foreign currencies and interest rates, federal and state authorities announced on Wednesday. The Justice Department forced four of the banks - Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland - to plead guilty to antitrust violations in the foreign exchange market as part of a scheme that padded the banks' profits and enriched the traders who carried out the plot."
DON'T BANK ON IT!, Chapter Eight: The Death of Banking, "Not Too-Big-To-Jail" page 183 explains why bankers who commit felonies never end up in jail ...
When fined, bankers understand that no matter what violations of law they are accused of committing, none of them will go to jail so long as they pay the millions or billions of dollars the politicians demand. This has become the tradeoff for banker acquiescence, compliance and submission.
When Attorney General Eric Holder in 2014 huffed and puffed and warned that executives at the largest banks were “not Too-Big-To-Jail,” he was just playing at populist politics for the cheers of the peanut gallery.
The heads of the biggest banks trust that, in the long run, this is merely a politicized money-laundering operation. By retaining their legal status, large banks retain the privilege of staying in business and will soon be able to refill what politicians siphon from their coffers.
PRIVACY: "In privacy, Americans lack trust in government", reports AFP. "Americans are worried about the privacy of their online information, and have little confidence the government will keep that data secure, a poll showed Wednesday. Just six percent of adults surveyed say they were 'very confident' that government agencies can keep their records private and secure, with another 25 percent saying they were 'somewhat confident'". Maintaining private wealth today may require owning some private wealth from the past. Classic $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagles and $20 Liberty Double Eagles are considered a collectible and as such, may be exempt from public reporting required on other forms of bullion gold. Read more...
IRAN: "Iran rejects access to military sites," reports Associated Press. "Iran's supreme leader vowed Wednesday he will not allow international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders that Iran will resist 'coercion and excessive demands' from America and other world powers." Is it any wonder why Americans distrust the proposed new agreement between the U.S. with Iran? As Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte explain in AMERICA ENGULFED ... "The apocalyptic Ayatollahs of Iran believe that they can bring about the global triumph of Islam through nuclear war, and their Shiite theology teaches that it is acceptable to lie in order to advance the cause of Islam. Our Israeli allies understand this. Perhaps President Obama does not."
5.19.15 - Your Money Under Arrest?
Gold last traded at $1,206 an ounce. Silver at $17.07 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks struggled to maintain record high levels as upbeat housing data boosted the buck. Meanwhile, oil and precious metal prices fell back as traders mulled over the possible impact surging housing data may have upon Fed interest rate policy.
HOUSING: "U.S. housing starts jumped to their highest level in nearly 7-1/2 years in April and permits soared," reports CNBC. "The strength in housing is in stark contrast with weakness in consumption, business spending and manufacturing, which have prompted economists to lower their second-quarter growth estimates." What is interesting is that the U.S. home builders confidence index has been down four of the last five months. Is it possible they know something buyers only suspect? That the housing market is again getting ahead of economic growth? We shall see.
BANKS: Last week HSBC bank warned, "The World Economy Faces a 'Titanic' Problem" without any lifeboats. Today Financial Times reports, "HSBC has become one of the biggest global banks to say it will begin charging clients on deposits in a basket of European currencies....Central banks in Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland have also imposed negative policy rates of between minus 0.25 per cent and minus 0.75 per cent as they battle deflation and currency pressures....JPMorgan Chase said this year it would start charging some of its biggest institutional customers, such as hedge funds and foreign banks, to make 'excess' deposits, which have become too costly under new liquidity rules." Negative interest rates were predicted in DON'T BANK ON IT!, page 217, major bank threat #14 ...
14. European banks - with American banks soon to follow - have begun formally charging savers a fee for their account while paying them zero interest, a policy now formally called "negative interest." American savers could in the near future be charged a bank fee for the honor of putting their money at risk by being lent out for bank profit.
CASH: Money Under Arrest: Months ago Bloomberg reported that "cash in the mattress may be safer than bank deposits," but transporting cash also has increasing risks - such as seizure by law enforcement agents who may presume the cash is the result of committing a crime. CNBC reports one such example,"Joseph Rivers of Dearborn was on his way to California to start a career as a music video producer when he was stopped by DEA agents in New Mexico, who seized $16,000 in cash Rivers had in a bank envelope, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Rivers' story is one of many from U.S. citizens who say the government unfairly seized their assets under the Justice Department's Asset Forfeiture Program. In 2014, government agencies seized $4.6 billion in more than 10,000 forfeitures, 91 percent of the year's total. Critics say civil asset forfeiture is at best overused and targets innocent people and at worst is a cash cow for local law enforcement agencies." Last October NY Timesreported, "Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required - which is a topic also covered in DON'T BANK ON IT! as part of the Obama Administration's "Operation Choke Point."
GOLD: Precious metal prices were "steamrollered" by the surging U.S. dollar index today, offering yet another excellent buying opportunity. While bank depositors in Europe and the U.S. are struggling with zero and now negative interest rates, "Indian banks may offer interest on gold deposits," reports Reuters. Bankers in India are seeking a way to monetize the large gold holdings in Indian households.
"Banks could treat gold deposits as part of their cash reserve ratio (CRR) or statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), the finance ministry said in its guidelines released on Tuesday to seek opinions about its gold monetization scheme....The government is trying to convince households, who sometimes have little faith in financial institutions, to break the tradition and hand over gold passed down the generations."
This proposal is reminiscent of the U.S. origin of fractional banking when the town goldsmiths issued a receipt for gold held on deposit, then noticed people were happier trading receipts. These receipts later morphed into paper notes of currency, which under the Federal Reserve lost their redeemability to gold. Bottom line: The safest way to own gold is always physically in your own possession.
5.18.15 - Banks Offer "Titanic ... Twilight Zone" Warnings
Gold last traded at $1,226 an ounce. Silver at $17.68 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks cautiously inched higher on Monday, despite major banking analyst warnings of a scary summer, laden with “Titanic” risks without life boats as investors remain stuck in Fed-induced "Twilight Zone" markets. This is precisely what Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte discussed in their 2011 book, The Inflation Deception. "Get ready for the printing presses to run night and day churning out debased dollars for an exploding population of government 'employees' and dependents, as Alice [in Wonderland] moves us to the Twilight Zone."
BANKS: Speaking of the Twilight Zone, Bank of America confesses to Bloomberg, Markets Are in a 'Twilight Zone' and It's Time to Hold More Cash and Gold. "Investors remain trapped in 'The Twilight Zone', the transition period between the end of QE and the first rate hike by the Fed, the start of policy normalization...until (a) the US economy is unambiguously robust enough to allow the Fed to hike and (b) the Fed's exit from zero rates is seen not to cause either a market or macro shock (as it infamously did in 1936-7)..."
Meanwhile, HSBC, the world's third largest banks' chief economist Stephen King warns, "The World Economy Faces a 'Titanic' Problem". Mr. King, it seems, is already planning for the next recession. In a note to clients last week, he warns: "The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats. If another recession hits, it could be a truly titanic struggle for policymakers." So we now have two major banks warning of titanic problems ahead, then recommending gold as the solution. It appears the old, soft, debt-based bankers are now paving the way for the new, hard asset-based bankers!
DEBT: "Debt Traders to Fed: We Dare You to Try Raising Rates This Year," reports Bloomberg. "The market is essentially calling the Fed's bluff. Traders are betting that policy makers won't be able to raise rates this year without disrupting stocks and bonds, something that they'd really rather not do. So either U.S. policy makers will have to risk another market-wide tantrum, or they'll give in to traders who embrace the idea of these historically low borrowing costs sticking around for longer." Yes, the Fed is stuck in zero interest quicksand, as Smith and Ponte cover in a recent White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History.
GOLD: Precious metal prices extended gains Monday despite a sharply higher U.S. dollar index on bargain hunting and growing bullishness as gold prices topped $1,225 an ounce. "We Are Entering The Terminal Phase Of The Global Financial System," bestselling author David Stockman tells Zero Hedge. Mr. Stocksman says what happened in each of the previous U.S. market crash episodes was a short-run break in the system, a collapse of confidence and then a flight to gold. "What I think we are facing now is a terminal phase of a monetary system that isn't viable, stable or sustainable. Therefore, gold has but one characteristic - massive upside in the years ahead." Gold has a 4,000-year history of preserving wealth and offering instant liquidity worldwide, while offering you a way to maintain your personal privacy. Read more: The Timeless Truth About Money
5.15.15 - Moving Toward Prosperity, Away From Redistribution
Gold last traded at $1,223 an ounce. Silver at $17.49 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stock prices stalled Friday amid lifeless factory orders and sagging U.S. consumer sentiment. Meanwhile, CNBC reports economists now estimate that U.S. economic growth will slow to 2.5% in 2015, down from 3%. Precious metal prices shined this week, ending near 3-months highs, with gold prices rising 3% for the week.
ECONOMY: Consumer sentiment hit a seven-month low, signaling shoppers are growing more concerned about how the economy and non-recovery will affect their personal finances, according to data released Friday. This is no surprise in the Fed's modern world of Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP), as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte point out in a recent White Paper, The Biggest Bank Heist in History. "In many such ways, ZIRP undermines the health of the body politic and the free market economy. It not only sucks away the lifeblood of capitalism - capital - but also destroys the morals, values, entrepreneurship, work ethic and thrift needed for successful free enterprise," write Smith and Ponte.
OPTIMISM: "Welcome to the Death of Liberalism," reports ReadingTheWorld. "Our optimism about the future is grounded in the evolving 'death of liberalism'. The US has been moving, albeit slowly, towards prosperity/growth and away from stagnation/redistribution since 2010. 2016 could prove to be the final blow to liberalism unleashing an economic prosperity not seen in over thirty years," writes John Tamny of RealClearMarkets. "We are optimistic that harmful policy ideas like targeted middle class tax cuts will never make it out of the primaries, and the GOP nominee will have been chosen because he embraces Laffer style, pro-growth policy solutions. The result will be the creation of more capital, more jobs, more companies and higher middle class incomes."
BANKS: "Modern Innovations May Render Banking Obsolete," writes Jeffrey Snider, the Chief Investment Strategist of Alhambra Investment Partners. "There are still 7.7% of households without a bank account and 20% are underbanked. The FDIC is clearly trying to make this a poverty issue, as they refer to that 'fact' that in 2013 34% of unbanked respondents report a job or significant income loss as contributing to their status as unbanked. Under the guise of 'protecting the poor', the government is out to assail these providers under the legion of the Dodd-Frank monstrosity, the aptly named (for 21st century Orwell-ianism) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In terms of payment technology, the prepaid system and the newer innovations that are just now becoming active make banking in the monetary sense obsolete - banks are expensive distractions. Banking, properly defined, is a matter of finance and there is no good reason to combine the two except as a means of power and influence." Our latest book, DON'T BANK ON IT! covers this topic in more detail.
MID-EAST: Israeli news service Haaretz reports, "Iran fires on Singaporean cargo ship in Gulf, says U.S. official. A U.S. official says an Iranian naval boat fired on a Singaporean commercial ship in the Persian Gulf in an apparent attempt to disable it. The Iranians initially fired warning shots Thursday after the MT Alpine Eternity refused to move into Iranian waters. When the ship began heading toward territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, the Iranians tried to disable it with machine gun fire, according to the U.S. official..." Just one spark in the MID-EAST could send the global economy, the banking system and U.S. dollar up in smoke, according to AMERICA ENGULFED, the latest White Paper by Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte.
GOLD: "Gold may be headed to $5,000 an ounce," says Peter Schiff to Marketwatch, "despite the Fed." $5,000 gold would mean a 300% price growth from the current price. "The Fed is still 'posturing' as if it'll soon raise interest rates, but it won’t", Schiff predicts. "We'll always have to do [quantitative easing] to offset the damage from the previous QE," said Schiff, who argued that the Fed has made "mistakes" and has done a "horrible job" with monetary policy. Meanwhile, the World Gold Council's 2015 Q1 report says, "The contrast between the global picture and the more granular demand data clearly demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of the gold market. The numerous and varying roles that gold plays means it responds to different cues in different ways, smoothing out the fluctuations occurring at a more localized level..." Bottom line: Gold's future is looking brighter as the dark clouds gather over the global economy. Now is the time to own gold for protection first, and growth potential second. Here is an amazing opportunity to buy U.S. $20 gold coins at 2007 price levels!
5.14.15 - Best Gold Buying Opportunity Since 2007!
Gold last traded at $1,221 an ounce. Silver at $17.46 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the major indexes flirting with record highs. U.S. producer prices dipped 0.4% in April, indicating the 2% inflation target the Fed has been trying to boost is instead falling. Meanwhile, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan yesterday warned that the stock market will get another "taper tantrum" if and when the Fed decides to raises interest rates. Precious metals hit a 3-month high on a weaker dollar and technical momentum buying.
DOLLAR: The U.S. dollar extended losses Thursday, falling to a four-month low, reflecting weakening retail sales and deflationary producer price data. CNBC reports, "As the prospect of Fed rate hikes pushes further out, the likelihood that other central banks will be forced to maintain easy monetary policy settings for longer also increases," Jane Foley, a senior currency strategist at Rabobank, said in a note on Thursday.
GOLD: A top performing asset over the past 15 years is now presenting gold buyers with an opportunity not seen since 2007. The MS63 $20 Liberty Gold coin is now trading at the same price it was when gold was $700.00 per ounce. What this means to you is very limited downside risk and tremendous upside potential. This is the type of opportunity every investor seeks but is rarely presented with. Full Story
BANKS: "For most people, pleading guilty to a felony means they will very likely land in prison, lose their job and forfeit their right to vote," reports NY Times. "But when five of the world's biggest banks (Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland) plead guilty to an array of antitrust and fraud charges as soon as next week, life will go on, probably without much of a hiccup." This outcome was predicted in DON'T BANK ON IT!, in the "Too-Big-To-Jail" chapter.
5.13.15 - Gold Rallies On Weak U.S. Data
Gold last traded at $1,218 an ounce. Silver at $17.22 an ounce.
News Summary: U.S. stocks ended mixed, gold rallied over 2% and the U.S. dollar fell roughly 1% on a batch of weak U.S. economic reports. "The data puts into question the Fed's notion that the weak first-quarter data was transitory," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York. "Growth in the first-quarter slowed to a crawl as a strong dollar, harsh winter and a steep fall in oil prices hurt profits and discouraged consumers from spending" according to Reuters.
Economy: The U.S. received a number of disappointing reports today, the biggest one being a weak retail sales report. U.S retail sale were unchanged in April as households cut back on spending on big-ticket items. The U.S. economy is struggling to make a strong rebound after an already weak first quarter. Another report shows U.S. import prices dropped for a 10th straight month. According to CNBC these reports are signs that the Federal Reserve could delay raising interest rates.
In a recent note to clients, HSBC chief economist Stephen King warns: "The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats. If another recession hits, it could be a truly titanic struggle for policymakers." King believes that this far into the recovery there is a lack of "traditional policy ammunition" as Treasury yields are still not rising, the budget deficit is still not falling, and welfare payments remain on the rise.
Metals: Gold hits a two-week high, pushing above the $1,200 an ounce level, after weaker-than-expected U.S. data pushed back expectations for an interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Gold found more support as Treasury yields extend gains -pushing down yields - and the U.S. dollar weakens. Silver also had solid gains, hitting a six-week high above $17.00 an ounce.
“We still aren’t really seeing the big recovery that was anticipated in the wake of the weather-depressed first quarter. This just really reinforces the view that a June hike isn’t happening and that September looks the more probable start point,” said James Knightley, economist at ING Bank.
Chicago: Moody's also had some bad news for the economy as they downgraded Chicago's credit rating to junk level "Ba1" from "Baa2." Moody's cited a recent Illinois court ruling voiding state pension reforms as the reason for the negative outlook on the city's credit.
"Whether or not the current statutes that govern Chicago's pension plans stand, we expect the costs of servicing Chicago's unfunded liabilities will grow, placing significant strain on the city's financial operations absent commensurate growth in revenue and/or reductions in other expenditures," the agency said in a release.
5.12.15 - Gold Advances After Global Bond Selloff
Gold last traded at $1,192 an ounce. Silver at $16.52 an ounce.
News Summary: Stocks in the U.S. and Europe retreat after a global selloff in government bonds. The U.S. dollar weakens against its rivals as Treasury yields turned lower. Dovish comments from New York Fed President William Dudley also weighed on the dollar. Dudley "doesn't know when interest rates will rise" which the markets interpreted as the central bank will begin rate hikes later than expected.
Gold: Gold prices jumped higher today on a falling U.S. dollar and a drop in global bonds. Gold may see even more gains after it was reported by Forbes that China may soon be launching a facility that allows the yuan's value to be fixed against gold. This is another step China is taking to become a global financial player. "The establishment of a China-based gold fix for the yuan also marginally undermines the dollar as the global benchmark currency" says Jan Dehn of Ashmore Group. "The establishment of a gold fix will probably also aid China's ambition to achieve Special Drawing Rights inclusion this year" Dehn added.
Bonds: The prices of government bonds fell across the world, including a major German bond sell-off labeled "large and vicious" by Goldman Sachs. The yields on 10-year German government notes rose by more than 20%. U.S. Treasuries saw wild swings after yields climbed by as much as 3.7% before sliding back to where they began. According to The Telegraph, analysts suggest this correction reflected stretched valuations in the debt markets as investors struggle to reposition themselves due to thin supply.
Greece: Greece has been forced to tap into an emergency account to make its debt interest payments to the IMF, BBC reported. The government used its reserves to make the payment on Monday, one day ahead of the deadline. One Greek official told Reuters that the reserves the government had used to make the payment must be replenished in the IMF in "several weeks."
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis warned that his country's financial situation was "terribly urgent" and the crisis would come to a head in a matter of weeks. "The liquidity issue is a terribly urgent issue," Varoufakis told reporters, "from the perspective [of timing], we are talking about the next couple of weeks." Greece has until the end of June to reach a reform deal with its international creditors.
5.11.15 - U.S. Economy Not Growing Fast Enough
Gold last traded at $1,183 an ounce. Silver at $16.31 an ounce.
Market Summary: Stocks closed lower as investors cashed in on last week's gains. Stocks also seemed to struggle as worries over Greece's financial condition grew as well as slowing growth was reported in China. Oil prices also fell, pulling down energy stocks. The People's Bank of China cut its benchmark lending and deposit rates by a quarter of a percentage point which has little impact on U.S. markets.
Jobs: It is clear the pace of hiring in the U.S. has lost its momentum, according to several surveys. The Fed's index of labor market conditions fell to -1.9 in April from -1.8 in March; the first time the gauge has been negative two months in a row since 2012. This index tracks 19 indicators and is used by the central bank to assess the health of the U.S. labor market.
A separate survey generated by the privately run Conference Board shows that the pace of hiring is no longer increasing as fast as it was in 2014. Hiring has been hurt in part by a stronger U.S. dollar and layoffs in the energy sector after the drop in oil prices according to an article on MarketWatch.
Debt: According to calculations by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget; higher interest costs, Social Security and Medicare for baby boomers will cause the federal debt held by the public to hit $40 trillion in 2035. Back in 2009 the forecast for 2035 was at least $7 trillion lower. "The economy just isn't growing fast enough to keep pace with the costs of caring for the soaring ranks of the elderly, and the discrepancy between spending and revenue is estimated to widen in the next few decades" according to Bloomberg.
Greece: Talks continue in Greece as their vast debt load continues to mount. These talks not only include politicians from other European nations but officials from the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both creditors to Greece. Greece is currently expected to repay 750 million euros to the monetary fund on Tuesday. However, Greece still needs to repay the fund another 12 billion euro before the year is over.
Politicians are racing against the clock to forge a deal that would give Greece enough money to repay both the IMF and ECB. There is no sign either institution is considering yielding on its payment schedule. If there are no signs of progress in talks on Monday, a majority of the central bank's governing council would favor placing additional restrictions on lending to Greek banks.
5.8.15 - April Jobs Bring May Bears
Gold last traded at $1,188 an ounce. Silver at $16.48 an ounce.
News Summary: The US economy added 223,000 jobs in April, rebounding from a poor performing March. Unemployment fell to 5.4%. Analysts are calling the April figures a “Goldilocks” report – good enough to boost stocks but not strong enough to encourage a June rate hike by the Fed. Gold ended higher on Friday after revisions to US Payroll data further supported speculation the Fed would hold off on raising rates.
Stocks: “Don't buy into this jobs-fueled rally, market timer warns” via MarketWatch. “Tom McClellan, editor of the widely-read McClellan Market Report, doesn’t care that a market-friendly jobs report sent stocks surging on Friday. He said he’s turning neutral from bullish after Friday’s close, for both the short- and intermediate-term time frames, and will look to get bearish next week.”
Social Security: “Social Security's in worse shape than you thought” according to a new study presented by CNBC. “The Social Security Administration projects that its trust funds will be depleted by 2033 - not an optimistic forecast. But it may be even bleaker than that. New studies from Harvard and Dartmouth researchers find that the SSA's actuarial forecasts have been consistently overstating the financial health of the program's trust funds since 2000.”
According to Laurence Kotlikoff, a Boston University professor of economics, “We have a situation that is like Enron accounting, and the public doesn't want to hear about it.” Kotlikoff wants the agency to calculate its liabilities using fiscal gap accounting, which considers the difference between the government's projected financial obligations and the present value of all projected future tax and other revenue.
5.7.15 - Investors Await Friday's Report
Gold last traded at $1,182 an ounce. Silver at $16.29 an ounce.
News Summary: U.S. stocks shrugged off early losses after the release of the jobless claims report. Many investors are sitting on the sidelines as they await the release of Friday's highly anticipated nonfarm-payrolls report. Oil prices tumbled 3 percent as traders and investors turned their focus to the oversupply in crude and gasoline. The dollar finally jumped since its downtrend began at the beginning of the month in anticipation of Friday's U.S. employment report.
Many experts continue to chime in saying the markets are overvalued and due for a correction. As we mentioned yesterday, Yellen sees danger in high stock valuations, while bankers and regulators express fear of a bond collapse. Now, Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, says the stock market is likely to trade sideways for some time. “Markets have rallied so much, that there are excesses which either need to be flushed out in a correction or trade sideways for the rest of the year and the let the economy catch up,” says Cieszynski.
Business: Companies continue to borrow at insane rates and then use that money to buy back shares, ultimately driving up their share prices, according to an article at MarketWatch. An analysis by investment bank SG Securities calculates that "in reality Corporate America has 'overspent' in recent years to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars."
Over the last five years, the cash pile of non-financial U.S. corporations has risen $570 billion, while debt has risen $1.6 trillion. "It is also those companies with the weakest sales growth that are buying back the most," warns one SQ quantitative strategist.
Jobs: It was reported today that U.S. jobless claims remain near a 15-year low. This comes as shocking news because according to ZeroHedge, April saw the biggest rise in job cuts since 2011 as well as the worst year on year increase for April in the last decade. Texas has been hit the hardest, leading the nation in job losses due to the struggling energy industry and plummeting oil prices.
Iran: It has been reported that two Iranian generals taunted the United States, saying the "military option to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities is 'ridiculous,' that Washington knows it can't be done, and that their country welcomes war with the US.'" This warning came as Western power prepared to have a sit down for another round of negotiations with Iran in an attempt to put curbs on Iran's nuclear program.
Greece: Greece still remains in turmoil as they make desperate attempts to avoid a default. According to The New York Times, a majority of the ECB's influential Governing Council are growing "increasingly uncomfortable with the central bank's growing financial exposure to Greece." Many members are worried the council has already stretched the rules in order to extend help to the banks, whose financial health has been in serious decline.
The European Central Bank has already lent about 110 billion euros to the banks in Greece. While the central bank does not want to provoke a mass failure of Greek banks, it may soon be forced to tighten its flow of credit to the banks if Greece can not produce the set of economic overhauls that creditors are demanding.
Precious Metals: Gold ended the day slightly lower amid bearish outside markets. However, as the decline of confidence in paper currency continues, one expert believes gold will soon have its day. In an interview with The Gold Report, Chris Mancini, analyst with Gabelli Gold Fund, states the Federal Reserve is fast running out of ways to prop up the U.S. dollar and he expects gold prices to continue in the $1,200-$1,300 range for 2015 and see a much better year in 2016. Check out the interview HERE.
5.6.15 - Today's 'Flash Crash' Economy
Gold last traded at $1,189 an ounce. Silver at $16.48 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks fell today, on the fifth anniversary of the 2010 'Flash Crash', after the U.S. ADP national employment report for May came in with a big downside miss at 169,000, far short of the 205,000 jobs expected. Meanwhile, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen now sees danger in high stock valuations, while bankers and regulators express fear of a bond collapse. The U.S. Dollar index sank further, helping to boost oil prices. Gold prices steadied below $1,200 an ounce.
OUR 'FLASH CRASH' ECONOMY: What We Need to Learn from an Ominous Anniversary - By Lowell Ponte
"On May 6, 2010, the New York Stock Exchange suffered what came to be called 'the Flash Crash,' when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted unexpectedly by nearly 1,000 points in only minutes," Craig R. Smith and I wrote in our book DON'T BANK ON IT! The Unsafe World of 21st Century Banking.
A single Sell order valued at approximately $4.1 Billion purportedly set off a cascade of computerized buy-and-sell programs around the world that are designed to respond immediately, and without consulting human beings, to key changes in market prices. As each major trading computer reacted, it could have triggered programmed reactions in similar computers.
"Some of these systems use High Frequency Trading (HFT) that today can launch trade decisions, buy and sell orders, in mere thousandths of a second or less," we wrote. This, according to critics, allows traders who have paid millions for this razor-thin advantage-in-time to detect incoming stock purchases; front-run and automatically buy that stock before the competing slower order gets processed; and sell the stock a fraction of a second later to the slower order at a slightly higher price.
"Such are the systems, with their risk of triggering buy or sell cascades around the world, that are being used in today's merging worlds of high-tech investing and high-money banking," we warned.
Some want to believe that enough circuit breakers have been added to stock trading to prevent an economy-shattering crash like the one that cost traders more than a trillion dollars in only a few minutes five years ago.
But as we continued in Don’t Bank On It!, a "violent sell-off in stocks" on February 29, 2012 was in its own way even more frightening – because evidence suggests that it was driven by a powerful intelligence that was not human.
The lesson to learn from this ominous anniversary of the 'Flash Crash' is that by diversifying your investments and savings to include tangible assets - not just politically manipulated dollars or stocks denominated in such paper dollars - can give you the security of financial insurance in an age of growing uncertainty and instability. more...
Five years later the regulatory response to 2010 'flash crash' remains snarled in red tape, reports Marketwatch. "A giant data project at the center of the regulatory response to the 2010 'flash crash' that sent the DJIA plummeting nearly 1,000 points is years behind schedule and mired in red tape." No big surprise here. "Computer algorithms swap thousands of stocks each instant - and could set off a financial meltdown," reports Mother Jones.
BONDS: "Bankers and Regulators Voice Fears on Bond Market, reports the New York Times. "Wall Street chieftains, huge investment firms and top bank regulators are all sounding the same alarm. In recent months, they have been warning that the world's bond markets, where companies and countries borrow trillions of dollars, are in danger of breaking down." Bonds may soon become a graveyard for the dying dollar.
CASHLESS: "Denmark moves step closer to being a cashless country," reports the London Telegraph. "The Danish government said as of next year, businesses such as clothing retailers, petrol stations and restaurants should no longer be legally-bound to accept cash.... Financial institution lobbyist Finansraadet said going cashless would save shops money on security and time on managing change from tills. However, there are some fears that a complete move to electronic payment may increase the risk of fraud. In Sweden, for example, such cases have doubled in the past decade." Convenience has its price.
5.5.15 - Economic Stagnation Stunts Confidence
Gold last traded at $1,193 an ounce. Silver at $16.58 an ounce.
STOCKS: U.S. stocks slid lower Tuesday as debt rose, economic confidence fell and tech earnings disappointed. The U.S. government today announced the U.S. trade gap rose to $51.4 billion last month, the largest since October 2008. This illustrates the negative impact of a stronger U.S. dollar, which creates a flood of imports of everything from autos to cellphones.
ECONOMY: "Economists now believe that the U.S. economy probably contracted slightly in the first quarter", according to a Moody's/CNBC survey. The median of 10 economists' estimates suggests the economy shrank 0.3 percent in the first quarter. This is substantially worse than the initial data of +.2% GDP in Q1 2015 released last week. While, some areas of the U.S. have seen pockets of growth, Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index fell to its lowest weekly score since December.
OIL: Get ready for a 'frack counterattack', warns CNBC. "U.S. oil prices are heading into a sweet spot that could spur the fracking industry to crank up some of the drilling it shut down when crude prices collapsed." Unrest in the Mid-East amid worries over Iran's support of terrorist states could drive oil and gasoline prices up further this year, as well as weakening the U.S. dollar, as explained in Swiss America's newest White Paper AMERICA ENGULFED: One Spark Could Burn Down the World Economy.
ISIS: "IS group claims Texas shooting, first attack on US soil", reports AFP News. The Islamic State group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for its first attack on US soil in which two gunmen were killed after opening fire at an event in Texas showcasing cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed. One of the gunmen resided in Phoenix, Arizona. Jihad supporters now appear to be firmly planted within U.S. borders, as well as throughout the Middle East.
GOLD: Precious metals rose Tuesday on bargain hunting and technical buying ahead of Friday's jobs report. The rally in gold prices on Monday - despite a firmer dollar - illustrates that gold is decoupling from the U.S. dollar and is becoming the 'safe haven' asset of choice in a world awash in paper IOUs.
5.4.15 - Underestimating Risk
Gold last traded at $1,186 an ounce. Silver at $16.44 an ounce.
STOCKS: U.S. stock prices edged higher Monday as U.S. Factory Orders rose for first time in eight months. But with U.S. stock indexes still near break even so far in 2015, the Wall Street party could be very near an end. "Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria," said famed Sir John Templeton. Take heed to this sage market advice from Templeton, one of the world's most respected investors. "When almost no one believes the market is dangerous, that's when it is most dangerous," author and stock-market expert Mark D. Cook tells Marketwatch.
U.S. DOLLAR: The dollar rose slightly amid upbeat economic data, but "The Dollar Joins the Currency Wars," writes Nouriel Roubini at ProjectSyndicate. "The sum of all trade balances in the world is equal to zero, which means that not all countries can be net exporters - and that currency wars end up being zero-sum games. That is why America's entry into the fray was only a matter of time." Meanwhile, the CIA's Asymmetric Warfare Advisor Jim Rickards, asks "Should China's plan to position the Yuan as a world reserve currency serve as a warning sign that something much more dangerous is approaching?" Rickards says yes. We agree! The U.S. dollar is now being attacked from all sides, as Craig Smith and Lowell Ponte detail in their latest White Paper, AMERICA ENGULFED.
MID-EAST: Today America is engulfed in the religious and political struggles in the Middle East and Persian Gulf for one reason: to protect the flow of oil, which props up the dwindling monopoly status of U.S. dollar. "A stunning 96 percent of Americans expect more violence this summer of the type we have seen in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri. Internationally, events spin out of control, with Iran on the verge of the greatest diplomatic snookering of our times and fomenting violence across the Middle East," reports the Washington Post.
GOLD: Precious metal prices rebounded sharply on Monday - despite a stronger dollar. Many analysts feel geopolitical risk today remains underestimated by market investors. The Ukraine or the Middle East could flare up overnight and very well could be the catalyst for the next stage of gold's bull market. Now is the time to protect your hard-earned assets with hard-owned assets. Call your Swiss America representative at 800-289-2646 to discuss the wisdom of owning physical gold and silver before the next economic accident occurs.
5.1.15 - Fireproof Assets in a Tinder-Laden World
Gold last traded at $1,177 an ounce. Silver at $16.11 an ounce.
NEWS SUMMARY: U.S. stocks rose Friday in choppy trading amid a firmer dollar and weak manufacturing data as investors digested slowing U.S. economic growth prospects. ZeroHedge reports, "It seems logical to assume that absent a major international economic accident, the current Fed is bound and determined to continue stimulating asset prices until we once again have a fully-fledged bubble," says GMO's Jeremy Grantham. Meanwhile, precious metal prices fell for a second day, following a $590 million gold futures sell trade which hit the market early, prices then bounced back later near $1,175 an ounce.
MID EAST: "The Middle East is in flames - and Obama's making it worse," reports CNN.
For example, the President asserted in the interview that "the U.S.'s core interests in the region are not oil, are not territorial ... Our core interests are that everybody is living in peace, that it is orderly, that our allies are not being attacked, that children are not having barrel bombs dropped on them, that massive displacements aren't taking place."
Yet, at the very moment that the President was offering this assessment, U.S. allies, such as the Arab Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and the legitimate government in Yemen, found themselves under serious threat and attack; the Syrian regime was continuing to relentlessly bomb its own citizens; and the Middle East was faced with the biggest refugee crisis in its history.
Implementing the core U.S. interests outlined by Obama in the interview is clearly not working.
Under him, the government and Federal Reserve have created out of thin air $8 Trillion in stimulus funding and zero-interest lending. According to the Keynesian economics embraced by White House economists, our economy fueled by this much money should be rising like a skyrocket. Instead, economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 was originally measured at zero, then revised by the Federal Reserve to 0.2 percent growth so that two such quarters would not officially define us as back in a recession.
For example, the President asserted in the interview that "the U.S.'s core interests in the region are not oil, are not territorial ... Our core interests are that everybody is living in peace, that it is orderly, that our allies are not being attacked, that children are not having barrel bombs dropped on them, that massive displacements aren't taking place."
Yet, at the very moment that the President was offering this assessment, U.S. allies, such as the Arab Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and the legitimate government in Yemen, found themselves under serious threat and attack; the Syrian regime was continuing to relentlessly bomb its own citizens; and the Middle East was faced with the biggest refugee crisis in its history.
Implementing the core U.S. interests outlined by Obama in the interview is clearly not working.
Under him, the government and Federal Reserve have created out of thin air $8 Trillion in stimulus funding and zero-interest lending. According to the Keynesian economics embraced by White House economists, our economy fueled by this much money should be rising like a skyrocket. Instead, economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 was originally measured at zero, then revised by the Federal Reserve to 0.2 percent growth so that two such quarters would not officially define us as back in a recession.
GOLD OUT OF THE DOG HOUSE: Craig R. Smith shares the final in a series of ten two-minute stories entitled, The History of Your Money.
The history of your money today focuses on an area that absolutely astonishes me.
Could you imagine tomorrow if you saw a commercial from McDonald's telling you to go buy Burger King? That's literally what we're seeing happening in the tangible hard asset world.
For years Wall Street has criticized the lack luster performance of gold. They have criticized the wisdom of taking a portion of your assets and putting it away in a vault to protect you from inflation. And yet even the critics agree now is the time to have a portion of your money in gold.
Chief economist, Walter Murphy from Merrill Lynch said, "Gold is a buy of the generation." CNBC's Lawrence Kudlow, the most ardent bull on Wall Street (he believes the Dow one day will be multiplies of 10 thousand) is even suggesting people buy gold.
Why? Because gold represents safety. Lets learn from history to better prepare our families and finances for the future.